Hayden ready to battle Harbhajan

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/haydenmug.jpg' class='caption'> Matthew Hayden has no qualms in admitting that the feisty Indian off-spinner would pose main threat to his side.

Updated: September 25, 2008 09:16 IST
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Matthew Hayden may not be among the big admirers of Harbhajan Singh but the Australian opener has no qualms in admitting that the feisty Indian off-spinner would pose main threat to his side during their four-match Test series beginning October 9.

Hayden had famously called Harbhajan "obnoxious weed" during India's controversy-ridden tour Down Under early this year prompting the Indian off-spinner to label the Australian opener one of the most reviled men in world cricket.

Now among the four players from the 15-man Australian squad with Test experience in India, Hayden said he was all geared up to renew the on-field rivalry with Harbhajan on slow Indian pitches.

"Having played over there and played well over there, I think I'm going to be the obvious target," Hayden said before leaving for India.

"Harbhajan is very competitive, especially in his own environment. He's a big threat to our side. He's skillful and has got some weapons in conditions that will favour him. My job will be to combat that so for me it's a battle I'm really looking forward to," Hayden was quoted as saying by 'Courier Mail'.

"To be part of the number one cricket side in the world is always a big challenge. I expect no mercy from the Indians but that's why I'll enjoy this series. I'll be right in the thick of it," added Hayden who toured India in 2001.

The Queenslander spanked 549 runs at 109.80 on that tour and his record against India is imposing, 1654 runs at 66.16 with six centuries. In the same series, Harbhajan took 32 wickets in a gripping contest that India won 2-1.

"I think this series is tailor-made for guys like me," said Hayden, who will turn 37 in India.

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