“Under Guidance Of Hayden, Pakistan Are A Better Unit”: Ex-Australia Star

Babar Azam-led Pakistan will square off against England in the T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Having lost their opening two matches against India and Zimbabwe, Pakistan were down and out, but a remarkable turn of events meant Pakistan made their entry into the semi-final, and then in the knockout match, they played their best game to knock New Zealand out. Former Australia pacer Brett Lee has credited Matthew Hayden, who is the batting mentor of Pakistan, for turning the fortunes around.

Hayden has been inspiration, as there have been videos where the former Australia opening star has been seen giving dressing room speeches. He also shares a good camaradrie with the entire Pakistan unit. Hayden was also Pakistan’s batting mentor during the last year’s T20 World Cup.

“It doesn’t surprise me that, under the guidance of Haydos, Pakistan are a better unit. Because he’s such an inspirational character. He’s always been that way. He’s always been a leader. He’s always been a person that speaks from the heart and a person that will call it out if it’s not right. And I like that about Haydos. There’s so much transparency. He doesn’t beat around the bush,” Lee told foxsports.com.au.

“He was a big-game player. He loved the big occasion. He wasn’t overawed by the big crowds and stature of playing in a World Cup, or an Ashes, or a Boxing Day Test. His record in those big, big games would be among the best of his career because he knew how to compartmentalise and put things into perspective to get the best out of him as an athlete,” he added.

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Further talking about Hayden, Lee said: “All these things he’s learnt from playing at that top level in these pressure situations that he’s passed on now to Pakistan, it’d be to back yourself, play with that freedom. I can almost hear the words he’s saying in the changerooms to the guys about having that confidence to express yourself as an athlete, and be the best version of yourself.”

“Whereas a lot of people get to those big situations, and we saw it with India, where they second-guess themselves, they’re hesitant, they’re a bit overawed by the situation. Some people it brings out the best in them, and one person it brought the best out of was Matthew Hayden,” he added.

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