Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden said that the Pakistan-India rivalry is unmatched and it will be tested between the two sides when they will clash on Sunday at Dubai International Stadium.
Hayden is currently the batting consultant for Pakistan during the ICC T20 World Cup. He has been transferring his cricket experience on how to tackle the intense pressure just like the Ashes between Australia and England.
“For Australia, England is their old guard as they would say, as at various stages we have been ruled by the Kingdom of the UK and cricket wouldn’t be on our shores if it hadn’t been the case,” Hayden told a virtual media conference.
“But nothing also, that I have ever seen throughout various elements of the game that I have been part of, ever matches the rivalry between India and Pakistan.”
Hayden represented Australia in 103 tests, of which 20 are in the Ashes. He has scored 1,461 runs in his Test career.
He says that the Pakistan-India match has intense pressure that often results in harsh reactions of the public of the losing side.
“There is an obvious pressure of an Indo-Pak match, as there is obvious pressure if you play against England if you are an Australian, but the pressure is only what you allow it to be.
“It’s a history-making opportunity. We can present all the stats, homework and research and nothing can replace what will be the state, what we dream about, write about and coach about, which will be the event itself.”
The qualifying round of the T20 World Cup will end today and the Super12 will kick off on Saturday.
Hayden said that the national players are in a good place.
“The mood is high, the relationships within the team are very strong and the players seem very happy and relaxed in spite of the obvious pressure starting from our first match.”
Matthew Hayden, during his commentary in the India Premier League (IPL), observed the Indian players and said that Pakistan needs to watch out for KL Rahul and Rishab Pant.
“I sense that KL Rahul is a major threat to Pakistan. His dominance in the shorter format is good. Someone like Rishab Pant, with a cheeky smile and his brash nature and beautiful vision for the game, is a destroyer.”
He said that Babar Azam needs to work even harder and there will be a lot of pressure on him.
“Babar is our premier player and will be targeted and as Chris Gayle (West Indian great) says ‘everyone wants to put him in his pocket’.
“There is going to be additional pressure on Babar as captain and as batsman.
“It’s a real dog fight and the conditions and margin of error are very little and so good leadership is going to be the key and Babar commands that role and he needs to fulfil that role.”