Tuesday June 25, 2024

Islam has played an instrumental role in unifying Pakistan team: Matthew Hayden

Babar Azam is not aggressive like Virat Kohli but scoring runs consistently, says Pakistan's batting consultant

By Atiq ur Rehman
November 10, 2021
Pakistan teams batting consultant Matthew Hayden. File photo
Pakistan team's batting consultant Matthew Hayden. File photo

Pakistan cricket team's batting consultant Matthew Hayden has said that religion has brought the players closer.

While addressing a virtual press conference ahead of the T20 World Cup semi-final, the former Australian opener said that Islam has played an instrumental role in unifying the Pakistan cricket team.

The national team’s batting consultant said that Shaheen Afridi he has the ability to destroy any team's batting line-up.

“The delivery that bamboozled Indian batsman KL Rahul was impressive,” he said.

He, however, expressed concerns over Shaheen Afridi playing every single game for Pakistan across all three formats, saying that it will be a challenge for the bowler to do so.

Speaking about the current progress by the Pakistan cricket team in the T20 World Cup, Matthew Hayden said he was quite happy with the national squad.

Hayden said though he had spent less amount of time with Pakistani cricketers, he had learnt that they were all really impressive cricketers.

"The Pakistan cricket team can play good cricket against any team in the world," he said.

However, Hayden warned that Australia were not an easy opponent, adding that the Kangaroos had a stellar record when it comes to playing in world cups.

Hayden said he had played for the Australian cricket team for two decades hence he knows the team very well.

'Fakhar Zaman’s role is important’

The former Australian cricketer praised left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman, saying that his role in Pakistan's T20 World Cup squad was an important one.

"I know him quite well, I know that he used to be in the navy and that he knows how to fight," said Hayden of Fakhar Zaman. He said as a fielder, Fakhar Zaman saves a lot of runs.

He said Australian legend Dean Jones was also quite fond of Pakistani cricketers, and used to refer to the Men in Green as "his boys".

Hayden lavished praise on Pakistani skipper Babar Azam, saying that he has been scoring runs consistently. Hayden compared Azam to Kohli, saying that unlike the latter, the former does not demonstrate aggression all the time.

He praised the Pakistani captain's batting skills, saying that Babar Azam also has a very good temperament.