Matthew Hayden: Ahead of the highly successful fight between India and Pakistan at the T20 World Cup on Sunday, Matthew Hayden named two Indian thugs that Babar Azam and the company need to watch out for.
The cricket world is two days away from witnessing the great spectacle: India versus Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.
The two countries are no strangers to each other at world championships, both in the T20 format and 50 overs, and while India and Pakistan no longer have bilateral ties, they regularly compete in ICC events. October 24 in Dubai is the first time in more than two years, and India and Pakistan will renew the mother of all battles in the T20 World Cup.
Former Australian starter Matthew Hayden identified Indian starter KL Rahul and wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant as the biggest threats to Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opener on Sunday. The excitement over India against Pakistan, the first between the two teams since the 2019 World Cup Group 2, has slowly reached its optimum level and Hayden, Pakistan’s stroke advisor for this World Cup, is no stranger to it.
“I sense that KL Rahul is a major threat to Pakistan. His dominance in the shorter format is good. Someone like Rishabh Pant, with a cheeky smile and his brash nature and beautiful vision for the game, is a destroyer,” Hayden said at a virtual media interaction.
“For Australia, England is their old guard as they would say, as at various stages we have been ruled by the Kingdom of the UK and cricket wouldn’t be on our shores if it hadn’t been the case. But nothing also. That I have ever seen throughout various elements of the game. That I have been part of, ever matches the rivalry between India and Pakistan.”
Rahul, one of the IPL’s best competitors, hit a brilliant fifty percent against England in India’s first prep match.
And also looked great in the second prep match against Australia. Pant, on the other hand, had a pretty good IPL and hit England with some heavy shots.
Hayden said that nothing compares to meeting India and Pakistan, not even the ashes.
“There is an obvious pressure of an Indo-Pak match. As there is obvious pressure if you play against England if you are an Australian. But the pressure is only what you allow it to be,” he said. “It’s a history-making opportunity. We can present all the stats, homework, and research. And nothing can replace what will be the state, what we dream about. Write about and coach about, which will be the event itself.”
Hayden, who was named hitting coach not long ago. Acknowledges the tremendous pressure of an India-Pakistan game, which often leads to a bitter public reaction on the losing side.
“The mood is high, the relationships within the team are very strong and the players seem very happy and relaxed in spite of the obvious pressure starting from our first match.”
After eight rounds of team qualification, the Super 12 stage will begin on Saturday. Hayden, who joined the Pakistani team last week, said the players were in a good place.
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