Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Pakistan cricket team's batting consultant Matthew Hayden has thrown his weight behind left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi, saying that he has the ability to destroy any team's batting line-up.
Hayden was addressing a virtual press conference, a day ahead of the T20 World semi-final between Pakistan and Australia.
The former Australian opener heaped praise on Shaheen Afridi's bowling prowess, saying that the delivery that bamboozled Indian batsman KL Rahul was impressive.
He expressed concerns over the fast bowler playing every single game for Pakistan across all three formats, saying that it will be a challenge for Shaheen Afridi to do so.
He spoke about the current progress by the Pakistan cricket team in the T20 World Cup, saying that 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.
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.
Hayden said Islam had also played an instrumental role in unifying the cricket team.
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