Hayden is a tall, intimidating left-hander at the top of the order and a fine slip fielder.
He was in and out of the Australian ranks for a handful of years before grasping the initiative decisively prior to the 2001 Ashes tour of England.
He made 149 on his first-class debut and has scored centuries on a regular basis ever since.
Hayden had his first taste of county cricket in 1997 with Hampshire and returned to England in 1999 for a two-year stint as Northamptonshire captain.
He briefly held the world record for the highest individual Test score after smashing 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003, when he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
He struggled with the swinging ball during the 2005 Ashes series, although ended with a century at The Oval.
Hayden was subsequently dropped from Australia's ODI side but followed up his hundred in the fifth Test against England with 111 in the Super Series Test against an ICC World XI.
His preparations for the Ashes in 2006 were disrupted when he broke a finger and was attacked by a dog within two weeks, but he came good at the MCG with a marvellous 153 in partnership with his good friend Andrew Symonds.
He helped Australia retain the World Cup in 2007.