'Babar Azam will be targeted by India, he will be under extra pressure': Matthew Hayden ahead of India vs Pakistan match

Published on Oct 21, 2021 05:17 PM IST

T20 World Cup: Hayden said Pakistan captain Babar Azam will have a crucial role to play in the match as a leader and a premium batter. He also added that Babar will be targeted by India. 

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam(AP)
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam(AP)

Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, who has been appointed as the batting consultant of Pakistan for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 said there will be a lot of pressure on skipper Babar Azam as he will be ‘targeted’ by India in the big-ticket event on October 24 in Dubai. 

Hayden said Pakistan captain Babar Azam will have a crucial role to play in the match as a leader and a premium batter. 

"There will be additional pressure on him (Babar) as captain and batsman because he is our premier player and will be targeted and as Chris Gayle (West Indian great) says 'everyone wants to put him in his pocket'. Babar has command and presence and he needs to fulfil that role in a batting sense and captain," Hayden said in a virtual media interaction on Thursday. 

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"I feel leadership will be key in the coming match as conditions in UAE leave very little margin for error and there are dogfight conditions out there," Hayden, who has represented Australia in 103 Tests, added. 

India and Pakistan, who only play each other in ICC tournaments or Asia Cups, will face-off for the first time in more than two years. The last time, these two sides played against each other, was in the ODI World Cup in England in 2019. 

India have a stunning 12-0 record against Pakistan in all World Cups. Pakistan have never beaten India in any format of the World Cup. 

"For an Australian obviously the Ashes and matches against England are tops but nothing matches the rivalry of these two teams,” the former left-hander said.  

Hayden said Pakistan have some wonderful assets that will perform on the given day. 

He termed Babar, Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman as key players for Pakistan.

Asked about his short-term role as consultant with the Pakistan team, Hayden said his main purpose was to bring calmness and control and telling the players to remain very present in play because World Cups are challenging things.

"I have learnt for whatever reason you are always under pressure, you don't need to create additional pressure to what the game demands."


(With PTI inputs)

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