Cricket

In the T20 semifinal, Babar Azam is expected to do “something exceptional” Hayden

In the T20 semifinal, Babar Azam is expected to do “something exceptional” Hayden

In the T20 semifinal, Babar Azam is expected to do "something exceptional" Hayden

SYDNEY: According to squad coach Matthew Hayden, Pakistan’s best is still to come, and struggling captain Babar Azam will need “something really exceptional” in their Twenty20 World Cup semifinal match against New Zealand on Wednesday.

The Netherlands unexpectedly overcame South Africa, and Pakistan subsequently defeated Bangladesh to claim their second consecutive last-four ticket, allowing the 2009 winners to barely make it into the knockout rounds.

They intended to make the most of their second chance, according to former Australia opener and current team mentor Hayden, who served as Pakistan’s batting coach in the previous World Cup.

On the eve of the semi-final in Sydney, he observed, “When the Netherlands beat South Africa it was a major occasion for us, a really significant time for the team in general around fulfilling its potential.”

Many prayers were said when Pakistan awoke to learn of the outcome; after all, 232 million people cannot all be incorrect. As a result, I believe our group’s tempo has risen significantly.

It’s been a roller coaster, but I firmly feel we still haven’t displayed our finest performance, which poses a serious threat to the opposition.

Pakistan’s batting has been shaky, which is concerning against a top-notch New Zealand attack led by Tim Southee, even though their bowling, under the direction of Shaheen Shah Afridi, has been getting better.

Particularly concerning is Azam’s performance, the opener scoring just 39 runs in five games.

The skipper was due some “fireworks,” according to Hayden, who was a destructive opener who played in 103 Tests and 161 ODIs. He predicted they might start on Wednesday.

There is no doubt that Babar has faced some hardship, but he will only become a better player as a result, the man remarked.

“Look out, rest of the world, because I think we’re going to witness something very spectacular from Babar,” the speaker said. “We know with the weather that when there is a quiet, there often follows a storm.”

White-ball cricket has long been a stronghold for New Zealand, but they haven’t been able to translate that success into world championships, notably losing to Australia in the final in 2021.

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