SYDNEY: Pakistan’s team mentor Matthew Hayden has backed openers Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam to regain form, saying that special doesn’t stay down for long.
Azam and Rizwan haven’t had a great time in Australia this year, with the Pakistan captain having just 39 runs from five outings in the tournament at an average of 7.8. Rizwan, on the other hand, scored 103 runs in the T20 World Cup 2022, but that is considered by many to be below par compared to the lofty standards set by him over the past few years.
Speaking at the press conference ahead of Pakistan’s semi-final clash with New Zealand, Hayden backed both openers and compared their situation to the one Adam Gilchrist faced during the 2007 edition of the ODI World Cup.
He went on to say that Gilchrist realized his potential in the tournament with a magnificent hundred in the final against Sri Lanka. Hayden further commented saying that it is nice to have two players who have felt the pressure and warned everyone to expect fireworks from both batters in the semi-final.
“Babar and Rizwan rightly are the number one combination. If I can take your minds to a different World Cup, and that was the 2007 World Cup, and Adam Gilchrist, you know, had a, by his standards, quite a lean World Cup ahead of that undefeated campaign for Australia. And if you remember that last match against Sri Lanka, he went on to score an incredible hundred and realized his potential in that tournament. And awakened the world once again to the fact that he was such a premium batsman in that format of the game. It’s always nice to have two players that have felt the pressure and we all feel the pressure at any given time in our careers.
No different for the No.1 combination, no different for the No.4 ranked T20 player in Babar. And don’t be surprised whatsoever if you don’t see some fireworks because very special players don’t often stay down for long,” said Hayden.