The most exciting yet difficult thing right now is to be in the Australian team. No matter what you do or score, there is always someone who is going to overshadow your performance. Every single player in the team is a match-winner out there, a hero.
No, not every hero takes the front stage and love all the attention but a few stays behind, catches the heroes when they fail and put the team forward. Haynes is the unsung hero of the Australian team.
Right after the early promise, Haynes was recalled during the 2017 World Cup with the leadership in mind. She was in and out of the team and had to captain the side when Lanning’s shoulder injury reacted. She captained the side. It was the rebirth of the player, a hero who Australia needed. Since the retirement of Blackwell, Haynes has done justice to the spot and has closed the gap.
Every batter loves T20s they want to get out there bat and have some fun. The players love to open the innings but Haynes is different. During the last T20I World Cup, when the team decided to reshuffle the batting order, Haynes batted lower down the order. Anyone with loads of experience would have thought about it. Haynes didn’t. She said that her job is to hold the middle-order together and she is comfortable batting down the order. She was selfless. It really did help the other players to free their arms, play their natural game because they knew Haynes can still help Australia out from the danger. She once again was back to the top and the things did not change as players continued to perform around her.
At times, the numbers lie. In the case of Haynes, it’s true. People really don’t talk about the 30s and 20s but 50s and 100s, right?
In many cases, Haynes’s 30s would have come in a crucial situation. She would have absorbed so much pressure while scoring the runs that would have made the things easier for others. During the crunch games, she would have thrown a few insights to Lanning that would have turned gold. She plays the role of the loyal deputy very well. Haynes doesn’t care what people things too. She keeps doing what she normally does.
Today, it was her day. Opening the batting with Healy, she slowly piled up the runs with Healy and later with Lanning, Perry. She was out there till the 45th over.
The pitch was not an easy one to bat on. Being used for the second time three days, the pitch did not allow the players to cut loose easily. While there were shots for boundaries, the singles and twos dominated. As Haynes approached her ton, guess, she wanted to make it memorable and to her luck, an outside-off delivery helped her to pick the gap quickly and score the boundary.
Haynes laughed after scoring it. She looked up and laughed in relief. She was happy to get to her maiden ton. As she slowed down running, Perry was already there to hug her. The most beautiful moment of the day was how Perry was equally happy for Haynes. The hug told the story.
In fact, the whole of the Australian camp was happy for Haynes. There were fist pumps, roars and handshakes. Everybody wanted Haynes to achieve that. Everybody wanted to celebrate the moment with her. Today was one of those days where the ‘unsung’ hero took the spotlight. This doesn’t happen every day. Even if Haynes scores a lot more tons in the future, today will stay special. Forever.