T20 World Cup 2022: “I’d like to face India”

Pakistan team mentor Matthew Hayden expects India as their opponent in the T20 World Cup 2022 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, November 13.

The former Aussie opener was all praise for his side after brushing New Zealand aside by seven wickets in the first semi-final in Sydney on Wednesday, November 9.

Pakistan delivered a disciplined bowling performance after losing the toss, keeping the Kiwis to 152/4 in 20 overs. Later, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan set the tone with a 105-run opening stand to script a seven-wicket victory.

Speaking to the broadcaster after a commanding win, Hayden reserved special praise for the bowlers. He believes Pakistan’s bowlers are hard to face when it reverse-swing.

The former southpaw said:

“Fantastic. Tonight was very special and a few things came out for us. Everyone will talk about Babar and Rizwan, but that bowling attack did an unbelievable job. Sky is the limit and both of these guys have done it for Pakistan for a number of years and I also want to mention Haris as well.”

The 103-Test veteran continued:

“On this surface, the bowlers had to adapt and we got Shaheen back up and running. Once it starts to reverse-swing, boy! he’s hard to handle. Haris can bowl 150kph. I’d like to face India, pretty much because of the spectacle. It’s unthinkable.”

Earlier in the competition, India and Pakistan faced one another at the MCG in a thrilling contest on October 23. The Men in Blue came out on top, thanks to an unforgettable knock by Virat Kohli to chase down 160.

“I think you’re about to see something very special from Babar” – Matthew Hayden

Babar Azam. (Image Credits: Getty)
Babar Azam. (Image Credits: Getty)

Prior to the semi-final clash, Hayden earmarked Babar to produce a special knock in the semi-final and arrest his horror run. In the press conference, the Queenslander said:

“There’s no question that Babar has been under some adversity. That will make him not only an even greater player. 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.”

Accordingly, the Pakistan captain scored a 42-ball 53 after a string of low scores. The Men in Green will either meet India or England at the MCG on November 13 for their second T20 World Cup crown.

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Edited by Ankush Das

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