T20 World Cup 2021: “India-Pakistan is the holy grail of the sporting calendar”


Former Australian opener and current Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden has termed the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry the ‘holy grail’ of the sporting calendar.

Hayden got off to a brilliant start to his coaching career as Pakistan thumped arch-rivals India for the first time in World Cups after 12 consecutive maulings across 29 years in 50 and 20-over events.

For someone who hasn’t witnessed the euphoria and emotions surrounding an Indo-Pak encounter from such close quarters, Hayden was understandably overwhelmed. Speaking to Fox Cricket, he said:

“India-Pakistan is the holy grail of the sporting calendar. Sitting inside that changing room in Dubai last night, I have seen nothing like I saw last night. The scenes were phenomenal.”

He added:

“There is a lot of euphoria but inside the change room, I have never seen a more disciplined and humble approach to winning. There was such great humility.”

Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden reviews team’s historic win against India, his experience of being part of the dressing room and the journey ahead.
#WeHaveWeWill #T20WorldCup https://t.co/TptBDBXCKq

Hayden went on to term skipper Babar a ‘solid leader’ while also lauding the discipline and sense of spirituality in the Pakistan dressing room. He said:

“Babar Azam is a really solid leader. He is no fuss, he is not anxious about things, he goes into his performance as he requires humility. The whole culture is underpinned by a sense of spirituality and spirit. It’s a phenomenal cultural experience.”

Azam, along with Mohammad Rizwan, anchored the chase without breaking a sweat and it was fitting the winning run came from the bat of the skipper on Sunday.

“They are the best two balls I have seen in five weeks of cricket” – Matthew Hayden on Shaheen Shah Afridi’s deliveries to dismiss Rohit and KL

The tone for Pakistan was set by left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. Bowling first, Pakistan needed their ace bowler to rise to the occasion and Afridi certainly did as he produced two jaffas to knock over both Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul within a space of three overs.

Lauding Shaheen for his skills, execution and supreme confidence, the former Aussie swashbuckler said:

“They (Indian batters) have been facing 130 for the last month during the IPL. It’s a different cup of tea when you are running at Shaheen’s pace. To deliver those two balls, they are the best two balls I have seen in five weeks of cricket. Fast, inswinging yorker, the courage it takes to bowl that delivery and the pace and execution with the new ball is admirable.”

Humbled, Alhumdulillah. This MoM was not possible without the love and support of my fans and family. Special shout to my ami ji, Abu ji and brothers for their selfless prayers and trust.Yaqeen rakhna hai Pakistan. #TheEagle #PAKvIND #PakistanZindabad https://t.co/1wOh0kdWU6

Hayden signed off by paying a heartfelt tribute to the late Dean Jones. He concluded:

“Last night, the very first thing I thought about in my head was Dean Jones. His heart has been so solid around Pakistani cricket and I’m sure he would have been looking down from heaven and go, ‘Yeah! That’s my boys.’ He has put in a lot of time and effort.”

Pakistan will now lock horns with New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday.






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