Matthew Hayden, commented on Babar Azam as the target for all bowlers, and Pakistan’s chances of winning the cup. Hayden who recently became Pakistan’s batting coach/consultant talked about the grand nature of India vs Pakistan matches.
“Babar obviously has his own role to play not only in terms of leadership but as a premier batter,” Hayden said. “Because as you’ve seen through the IPL, the two dominant captains here in the UAE, MS Dhoni, a World Cup winner and [Eoin] Morgan, a World Cup winner…even though their individual performances weren’t as good as what they have previously done within their own statistical record. But the way that they led their troops and conduct themselves is an important part of the UAE because as I mentioned, it’s not one side, it’s not necessarily going to run away with it here. It’s a real dogfight.
“The conditions and the margins for errors are very little and so good leadership is going to be key. I think Babar has that and commands that presence and that role and he needs to fulfil that role and in a batting sense as well. He, I think, is the premium player and he will be targeted. He will also be the person that everyone is wanting to put in his pocket. There’s going to be additional pressure on him, both as a captain and also as a batsman. I sense that the way that he goes about it is going to be spot on.”
India and Pakistan both begin their campaigns on the 24th against each other. So far, Pakistan has had a 0% win record against India in World Cups. With Hayden on their side they might have a better chance of winning this time around, buthis limited coaching experience might be a hindrance. Hayden, who retired in 2009, and recently started coaching continued, “Calmness is maybe something that I want to bring in,” Hayden said. “A sense of calmness and control of remaining very present in play because World Cups are such a challenging thing and playing multiple World Cups has been such an important part of my life. One of the things that I’ve learned is that for whatever reason, you’re always under pressure so you don’t need to create it. You know, pressure environments are additional to what the game demands, so to remain calm, that’ll be the one thing.”