Victory against India in 2004 was most memorable series win, says Damien Martyn

Damien Martyn played 67 Test matches and 208 One Day Internationals for Australia © AFP

Perth: Mar 18, 2013

Former Australian batsman Damien Martyn termed Australia’s Test series victory over India in 2004 as the most memorable one of his career.

“We hadn’t won there for 40 years. The Ashes is seen as the pinnacle but Steve Waugh would say winning in India was the final frontier. We came so close in 2001 so to do it in 2004 was memorable. Unfortunately Steve wasn’t there in 2004 but he started the whole journey.”

Speaking about some of the best bowlers he faced, Martyn felt Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Muttiah Muralidaran were the toughest bowlers in their home conditions.

The former middle-order batsman also added that Curtley Ambrose was the fastest bowler he ever faced.

“He was a massive man, I was a greenhorn and he got seven-for at the WACA in one Test (in 1993). He was incredibly fast up close. I don’t know if you are scared but the adrenalin is going. You are hyped up. I had never faced such a quartet of fast bowling,” said Martyn.

In an interview to Daily Telegraph, the former Australian player recounted memories from his career which involved a fair share of controversies and tiff with the media. However, Martyn has no regrets. “I was very humbled by where the game took me, but the older you get the wiser you are. The only thing I would say is I wish I dealt with the media better, having them understand me better.

“There are times in the bubble you think this is a pain in the butt, but when you step out of the bubble, you look back and think you are lucky and humbled to have the gift of playing for Australia,” he said.

Martyn retired in the midst of the 2006-07 Ashes series. After scoring just 45 runs in the first two Tests. Martyn felt he was not in the right frame of mind to continue. “I tried to retire before the summer even started and I got talked out of it. By Adelaide, I just wanted out. Mentally I wasn’t right, my batting wasn’t right and I felt I was letting the side down,” he said.

Martyn said that it wasn’t right on his part to just travel around with the team without scoring runs. “I could have played all the Tests and finished in Sydney. But to be honest, I didn’t want the fanfare. I didn’t want to be carried along not making runs. In my mental state, I just felt I couldn’t give Ricky Ponting 100 per cent.

“Well I wrote a resignation letter. I knew if I spoke to people I wouldn’t be allowed to retire. I knew if I told Mike Hussey and Ricky, they would have tried to stop me. I never understood why people were so fascinated with my retirement,” said Martyn after a huge furore was created over his retirement in the midst of an important series like Ashes.

Martyn is currently working as a commentator on The Cricket Club hosted by Stuart Macgill. Reacting to the axing of four Australian players, he felt that Mickey Arthur’s decision was a joke. Rather than dropping the players from the third test, Martyn felt, the players should have been fined.