Be it for his batting performance or leadership skill, Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been subjected to a lot of humiliation in the ongoing 20-20 World Cup. The 28-year-old managed to score only 39 runs from five matches and following Pakistan’s loss to India and Zimbabwe, many former cricketers including Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and his cousin brother Kamran Akmal asked the opener to relinquish his spot and concentrate more on his batting.
However, amidst a lot of criticism, former world champion and current Pakistan team mentor, Matthew Hayden has backed the cricketer and even mentioned that Babar will soon get back to his usual best and soon produce a ‘special performance’.
“We all know that in any given career, you have significant moments of ups and downs. And the challenges and the humps along the way, they cement you and your greatness, how you achieve under adversity. There’s no question that Babar has been under some adversity. That will make him not only an even greater player,” the former Aussie opener was quoted as saying.
“There’s lots of people that talk, but those of us that have been in the changing rooms with Babar and realise that cricket, when it’s all said and done, is a very difficult game. You can’t continue to keep on punching out hundreds and 50s and strike rates of 140-plus. There’s got to be moments in time where there’s a lull. And as we all know about the weather, once there’s a lull, there’s often a storm that follows. So look out, rest of the world, because I think you’re about to see something very special from Babar,” the 51-year-old added.
They really punch above their weight: Hayden
Be it in Test cricket, 50-overs cricket or T20I cricket, the Black Caps have always turned up and showed their calibre in international tournaments. In the ongoing 20-20 World Cup, the Kane Willimason-led side defeated the defending champions Australia and played extraordinary cricket to qualify for the semi-finals of the multi-nation tournament. Thus, Hayden, who’s currently a part of Pakistan team management, is aware of their threat as the two sides meet in the semi-finals of the tournament.
“They’ve also got a terrific bowling attack, a well-balanced bowling attack. Good mixture of experience. I even played against Tim Southee, that goes to show you how much experience that team has got. I think like New Zealand sport, in general, they really punch above their weight. They believe they can win this tournament and they’ve got the potential to do that. So lots of threats to our camp, no question,” the World Champion added.