Tuesday Oct 26 2021

I have never seen more disciplined, humble approach to winning: Matthew Hayden

Pakistan’s batting consultant Matthew Hayden. — Twitter/PCB
Pakistan’s batting consultant Matthew Hayden. — Twitter/PCB

  • Batting consultant Matthew Hayden terms the intensity of the India-Pakistan match as the "holy grail of the cricketing calendar."
  • "Cricket is like a religion for people in this part of the world," former Australia cricketer says.
  • He agrees that the language barrier is an issue but not a problem at all.

KARACHI: Pakistan’s batting consultant Matthew Hayden praised the national cricket team’s dressing room culture, saying he has never seen a "more disciplined and humble approach to winning."

The former Australian cricketer said that being in a Pakistani dressing room is also a "phenomenal” cultural experience for him.

Speaking to his former colleagues Brad Haddin and Brett Lee on an Australian network, the Pakistani batting consultant said cricket is like a religion for people in this part of the world.

He also termed the intensity of the India-Pakistan match as the "holy grail of the cricketing calendar."

“Sitting inside that changing room in Dubai, and keep in mind I have been there since almost five weeks now, I have seen nothing like I saw last night," he said, adding the scenes were "phenomenal".

"There was such passion and commitment,” he said about the atmosphere during the India-Pakistan game in the T20 World Cup.

One of the things that those pictures didn't show, there's a lot of euphoria and stardom outside the dressing room but inside the dressing room "I have never seen a more disciplined and more humble approach to winning, there’s great humility,” he said.

He added that the whole culture of the Pakistan team’s dressing room is underpinned by a fantastic sense of spirituality and spirit, something that you'll never see in the Australian dressing room.

“I mean, every day, there's this unbelievable discipline, you can be walking to the lift, and if there will be prayer time you will see all of them praying in unison."

“Hence, it is a phenomenal cultural experience for me, but to see the way they engage with each other, to see the way they engage with their sense of spirituality and purpose around their country is phenomenal,” the Australian great said.

Replying to a question, Hayden said that there is great respect for the game of cricket in the Pakistan dressing room and the players are very coachable. He added that he is approaching towards tinkering players’ mindset than working on technique in a short period.

“We also have quite a diverse age group of players, we have got players that played against us as well like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, these two guys that are well into their 40s and have got such fantastic input into the group,” he said.

“Babar Azam is a solid leader, he is not anxious about things, he goes into his performances, he requires humility,” he highlighted.

He agreed that the language barrier is an issue but not a problem at all.

“It is such a visual game the words mean nothing if you have got a tip that you want to relay, body language and hand signals is part there that bridges the gap.

"We all learnt the game by just looking at the game either looking at yourself or looking at others that you want to try to replicate and then you go from there,” he said.

Hayden recalled: “The other day, I had a long conversation with one of the young guys Haider Ali, he's got a language barrier but Hafeez translated that entire conversation."

He also spoke highly of pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi who destroyed Indian batting on Sunday and helped Pakistan orchestrate a memorable win in the T20 World Cup match.

“They [Indians] have been facing 130kmphs for the last month during the IPL, and we all bang on about how brilliant that is but it's a different cup of tea being when you're running in it, at your pace and the different cup of tea when you're running in at Shaheen’s pace, and to deliver those two balls," he said.

"They were the best two balls that I have seen in five weeks of cricket, fast in swinging yorker, the courage that it takes to a ball that delivery, the pace, and the execution with a new ball is admirable against Rohit Sharma, and then you get that unbelievable KL Rahul,” he said shedding light on Shaheen’s performance on Sunday night.

“Then you have got young Haris Rauf, he has played the big bash league, came from the humble beginnings of playing that tennis ball cricket they play in Pakistan, never played hardball cricket, he was found in a talent hunt programme, suddenly now he's bowling 150s for each country, there is a string of young fast bowlers who want to be Shoaib Akhtar or want to be Brett Lee,” he said regarding the pace attack in Pakistan.

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