The unique Mongoose bat used by Matthew Hayden in IPL 2010 was the talk of the town when it was first unleashed, but it did not find a fan in Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni, who urged Hayden not to use it.
Ten years after he caught widespread attention with the use of that willow, Hayden revealed how he had to quell Dhoni’s doubts over the weirdly-shaped bat.
“I get all sorts of questions around this particular product. The players go ‘how do you use half a bat?’ I can remember MS Dhoni saying ‘I’ll give you anything you want in life to not use this bat! Please do not use this bat,’” Hayden recalled in an Instagram live chat hosted by Chennai Super Kings.
The former Australian opener, however, was in no mood to relent, convincing his captain that he had tried out the bat enough to employ it in an actual game.
“I said, ‘MS, I’ve been using this bat for practice for about a year and a half and when it hits the middle of the bat it goes 20 metres further. They just disappear off the seam and they go further.
“The profile of the bat is enormous. I had extensively used it in trial. I wasn’t going to put my franchise on risk by performing badly because of the bat. I had done my homework.”
The handle of the bat, 33 per cent longer than a conventional willow, helped Hayden use the long handle, quite literally, to good effect that season, which ended in CSK’s first title win. With the Mongoose bat in hand, Hayden hit 93 off just 43 deliveries against Delhi Daredevils. Former teammate Suresh Raina recently called the innings his favourite memory from the IPL.
The experiment couldn’t sustain the initial interest and the bat faded away a couple of years after Hayden’s blistering knock.