Hayden: India Pakistan is Like ‘Nothing Else I’ve Ever Seen’

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.”

Sharma Leads India’s Young Squad to a Convincing Victory

Rohit Sharma, after not playing the first warm up match against England, was finally selected in the squad for the second match against Australia. 

India, after conceding 152 runs as a target, went on to win the match easily by 9 wickets. From the bowling side, the experience of R. Ashwin came in handy as he took 2 major wickets at only 8 runs. In the second innings, instead of opening with Kishan and KL, the squad opened the batting with KL and Rohit Sharma. They partnered up to score 68 runs together, until KL’s wicket was taken. At 60 runs for 41 balls, Rohit Sharma wasn’t slowing down. Eventually he had to be retired to give others a chance to assess and play on the pitch. 

The match started with Finch choosing to bat, as India took 3 wickets for Australia’s first 11 wickets. After that it was up to the likes of Smith, Maxwell and Stoinis to play smartly and get a defendable total. But eventually their bowling side let them down. 

Kohli, who led the Indian team during the first innings, also bowled 2 overs for lack of a better option. While Sharma took charge of the batting innings, he retired at 60 and Suryakumar finished off Australia with a 38 from just 27 deliveries. 

India now go into the World Cup and their first match against Pakistan with 2 straight wins, although in a warm up, against 2 of the best teams in the world.

Afghanistan Beat Former T20 Champions West Indies

Multiple players got 50s against the former champions, West Indies, as the Afghan boys went up against them in a thriller of a match. After Afghanistan gave a target of 190, it seemed like the West Indian batting line up could achieve that easily, given the conditions of the ground. Alas, they were bowled out at only 133.

Although the match was a warm up match, it showed the clear gaps in the West Indies bowling attack and also the imbalanced batting line up. 

Afghanistan’s Zazai and Shahzad both scored 50s, scoring 56 and 54, respectively. While, from the bowling side, the big man, Mohammad Nabi took 3 wickets conceding only 2 runs for it. Bowling a whopping 22 dot balls out of a total of 24 balls, Nabi lit up the Afghan faces. With a rate of 91.67% dot balls, Nabi is becoming one of the most dangerous bowlers in this world cup. 

With a horrible start, West Indies after 7 overs were at only 27 runs, and had lost 3 major wickets. Chase scored an unbeaten 54* after Pooran lost out at 35. Even a returning Andre Russell couldn’t save the Indies in this match, with most of his shots not connecting properly with his bat. 

The former champs enter the tournament now with both warm up matches lost, one against Pakistan and the second against Afghanistan

Ford Comments on Ireland’s Chances Against Namibia

With 2 matches down for both teams, tomorrow’s match between Ireland and Namibia has been dubbed the ‘winner take all’ match. Tied at 2nd place, with the only difference coming in net run rate, whichever team wins will make it to the World Cup Super 12. Graham Ford, Ireland’s coach, has been in talks with people from the IPL, trying to understand the pitches a bit better. 

Ford commented on the whole situation and their road to this match, “I’ve had a few good chats with some of the IPL coaches, but we’ll keep that to ourselves for now, win or lose, we are gaining and we are learning, but quite obviously we’re desperate to go through to the next phase of the tournament.”

“We had a long bus journey then caught the end of the game and they did hit the ball extremely well at the end,” Ford said. “We know that they’ve got some very dangerous players and David Wiese, who put on a show – we caught the end of that show. He’s played for South Africa in the T20 World Cup before and I’ve seen him in South Africa and on the county circuit. He can be absolutely devastating, which he was today. They’ve got some dangerous players. They’ve got some very hard-working cricketers. Quite a few of them have learnt quite a lot of their cricket in South Africa and they pushed us close in the last game of the qualifiers. We know that they’re going to be tough – if we’re slightly off our best, we will struggle.”

Rahul and Kishan Lead India’s Warm-Up Win Against England

India’s youngsters led India to a convincing victory in their warm-up match against England. KL Rahul, Ishaan Kishan and Rishabh Pant batted outstandingly under the warm Dubai night sky last night.

KL and Kishan opened the batting for India after England gave them a target of 189. The young pair partnered up to score 82 runs pretty quickly as India looked comfortable with the bat. 

KL was the first to score a 50, and soon was dismissed, at 51. Ishaan Kishan however, stayed at the crease for a while longer, as he went on to score 70 runs in just 46 balls. Pant later on came in to score 29* and created a short but vital partnership with the returning Hardik Pandya to win India the game. 

Pant finished off in style with a huge six, showing shades of his hero and the current mentor for Team India, MS Dhoni

In terms of bowling, Shami took 3 important wickets to limit England, while Bumrah conceded the least of all at 26 runs in 4 overs, also crucially bowling out Bairstow. Chahar and Bhuvaneshwar the controversial picks from team India proved to be extremely expensive, with Kumar conceding a whopping 54 runs in 4 his 4 overs.

India will play Australia in their second and last warm-up match on Wednesday before starting their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on Sunday.

Livingstone, Injured and out of the Cup?

England will start their World Cup campaign officially on Saturday against the former champions, the West Indies. 

However, England might have to go ahead without the in-form Liam Livingstone. The English-man was injured last night against India. Ishaan Kishan’s Leg side shot, was almost caught by Livingstone, as he injured his finger and dropped the catch. Although the warm up victory wasn’t the goal, India still picked up the momentum heading into their clash with Pakistan. 

Liam left the field immediately after the botched fielding effort with the team physio as he injured the little finger of his left hand. 

Moen Ali, who got England to a score of 188 to set up a target of 189, commented on the whole situation post match. “I think he’s alright,” he said. “I think it’s just bruising on the back of the hand but I think he’ll be fine. Obviously it was a bit of a scare at the time but he said it was fine, so hopefully he’s all good. He’s a brilliant player – he’s been playing really well over the last couple of years. Hopefully he can carry that form into the World Cup and I feel like it’s going to be a big stage for him.”

The ICC T20 World Cup 2021, a Preview

Yes, it’s finally here! The ICC T20 International World Cup is back. After getting a big change in location, the world cup is ultimately set to emanate from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The decided stadiums will be the Dubai International Cricket stadium, the Sheikh Zayed stadium and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. 

This world cup will be a bit different from its predecessors. 8 teams, divided in 2 groups will fight each other, for 4 teams to qualify to the final teams to play in the world cup, also known as the Super 12. 

Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia

Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman

Super 12 Table 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2

Super 12 Table 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, B1 and A2 

With the top 2 teams of each Super 12 group proceeding to the finals, the world cup will take place between 17th Oct to 14th Nov in its entirety. 

In terms of the rules, each team will be given 2 DRS reviews in hand for each innings, making the calls tougher. In case of a tie, a Super Over will be played, and if tied, another will be played until one team wins. With no extra days for bad weather, and no rain expected in the UAE in the coming 3 weeks, the coast seems to be clear.

The winning team will be awarded the trophy with a cash price of USD $1.6 Million. 

The spectators will be allowed, but only fully vaccinated members of the fanbase at a reduced capacity, similarly to the IPL. 

So are you ready for the World Cup?

Muhammad Amir Announces his Availability for the World Cup

The entire cricketing community is now focused on the mega ICC event, which will take place in October. Last year’s tournament was postponed due to the covid pandemic. The 2021 ICC T20 World Cup will kick off on October 17th due to the venue change to the United Arab Emirates.

A star cricketer’s return is one of the shocking news ahead of the event. Mohammed Amir, Pakistan’s captain, announced suddenly that he is available for the World Cup. 

When the pacer announced his retirement a few months back, Taking it to Twitter, he had written: “I would like to clarify that yes I will be available for Pakistan only once this management leaves.” 

Amir told private media, “I am available for team“. Both Misbaul Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis announced their resignations before the event. 

When the Pakistani bowler reportedly quit for his country, there were rumors he would play for some other nation. Amir, though, clearly stated not to spread rumors or make up stories. 

Pakistan has already announced its squad for the tournament.

Pakistan has already announced its 15-man squad for the competition. Sarfaraz Ahmed was dropped from the squad after some questionable selections. Azam Khan was given the chance to replace him. 

The captain of the team will be Babar Azam, while Shadab Khan will be the vice-captain. It will be interesting to see if Management is willing to make changes after announcing the squad. Amir can be a match-winner for his team with his lethal left-arm bowling.

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