Pakistan’s batsman Matthew Hayden believes arch-rivals India topped 10 wickets set the tone for his side in the ongoing T20 World Cup and cited the players’ commitment to training and spirituality as the reasons for a stunning unbeaten run so far. With five wins from as many matches in the group stage, Pakistan are one of the favorites to lift the T20 World Cup and take on Australia in the semi-finals on Thursday. Hayden, who was used as a batting consultant for the mega-event, praised captain Babar Azam for showing great temperament and control during a high-pressure campaign.
“The highlight … the first game we played here at Dubai, where we play tomorrow night, against India, and just how under tremendous pressure … just comparable to the series around the Ashes, just how these boys handled it wonderfully “Calm and very confident in their approach to playing such a great game,” Hayden told reporters in the pre-game press conference.
“I think that game really prepared us for what was a very sweet four weeks of good work, great dedication to training, great purpose in general …,” he added.
“… also a wonderful heart connected to Islam and how spirituality has played its part within the Pakistan team as a great guide and tool for everyone to come together,” Hayden added.
Hayden will tackle tactics on Thursday against his former opening colleague Justin Langer, who is the head coach of Australia. And he believes his knowledge of Australian players and cricket culture will keep Pakistan well.
“It’s a very unusual feeling. As you all know, I’ve been a fighter for Australian cricket for two decades, so it’s giving me the benefit of having great insights not only into these players but also into the culture of cricket in Australia, “he said.
“I think from my point of view there is the challenge of the heart, the challenge of the mind in terms of what is going to happen over the next 24 hours, but I would also be very proud to say it was great to be part of Pakistan cricket, He added.
Hayden feels that the T20 World Cup title is of great importance to Pakistan, which has long been deprived of hosting international cricket due to security issues.
“Yes, this is an extremely important tournament for Pakistan … I feel that as a nation that loves cricket as much as it is, and is so strongly focused on cricket, and also to have tournaments including those “of which I was a part. to be canceled for various reasons is never more important,” he said.
“… and the awareness is raised that we have a group of players here from this great nation who are ready to perform and ready to not only tackle the semi-finals, but would, inshallah, go further than that , the final. “
Hayden talked a lot about Babar and said his personality is completely opposite to that of India’s Virat Kohli, a contemporary big of the game.
“Babar and his personality is what you see is what you get. He is very consistent. He is very stable. He is not too flamboyant.
“To tell the truth, I would go so far as to say that he is almost the opposite personality as someone like Virat Kohli, who is very animated, very passionate and very noisy on the field. Has great control, and he has a wonderful temperament, “he said.
“… just to give you an insight into that talent, his ability to respond consistently to the ball is really unparalleled what I saw. He picks up the line and length of the ball faster than the average cricketer that’s going on, and that’s the hallmark of someone who’s a very good player. “
He also praised pacemaker Shaheen Shah Afridi and described his dismissal of KL Rahul as one of the best he has ever seen.
“However, that number of balls can be devastating, as we saw from his delivery to KL Rahul, one of the best balls I have ever seen, apart from the last two or three months of cricket observation in this country and in the UAE.
“He has that ability like any good bowler to commit to amazing pace, which means his preparation, his recovery and his fair ability in general to be able to focus on delivering fast bowling day in, day out.”
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