On Sunday, Pakistan cruised to a convincing 10-wicket victory over India in the opening match of the 2021 T20 World Cup. While this was Pakistan’s first-ever 10-wicket victory in T20 cricket, it was also India’s first-ever 10-wicket loss in the format.
Matthew Hayden, an Australian legend and Pakistan’s batting consultant, is full of praise for the Pakistan team after they defeated their archrival for the first time in World Cup history. Pakistan had previously lost all 12 matches between the two sides in the ICC Cricket World Cup and the T20 World Cup.
In this regard, the former Australian opener stated that cricket is more than just a sport in Pakistan and India; it is a religion, and every Indo-Pak clash is a quest for the Holy Grail.
He went on to say that the most exciting aspect of the Indo-Pak game is the brilliant sporting brotherhood that brings people together. Former Indian captain MS Dhoni, for example, was seen meeting several Pakistani players, as was current Indian captain Virat Kohli, who was seen smiling and hugging Muhammad Rizwan after the wicketkeeper batter thrashed the Indian team.
In terms of the dressing room environment, he revealed that the Pakistan team did not get carried away with the celebrations and instead demonstrated humility and a sense of purpose as they prepared for the next game against New Zealand. Hayden also recalled former Australian cricketer, coach, and commentator Dean Jones’ contributions to the improvement of cricket in Pakistan, saying Dean was always there for Pakistani cricket. Deans has always praised young Pakistani players and admired Pakistan’s culture and cricket environment whenever they have spoken in the past.
He went on to say that cricket transcends borders and that the Pakistani team has made him feel at ease. The most admirable aspect of Pakistani players is their dedication to the game.
Despite the fact that Indian fans turned out in force to support their team, the Pakistani team remained composed throughout the game and delivered a clinical performance. When Indian fans fell silent following their team’s poor performance, Pakistani fans dominated. The Pakistani team did not allow Indian batters to express themselves with the ball, according to Hayden, who added that Shaheen Afridi’s two wicket-taking deliveries were the best he had ever seen.
Velocity has vanished from the game, but Pakistan still has plenty of it, and Shaheen Afridi is the leader of all Pakistani pacers. He dismissed Rohit Sharma with a flawless fast yorker and bowled the in-form KL Rahul with an unplayable delivery.
Nothing beats velocity combined with a bit of skill, according to Hayden, and Pakistani pacers Waqar Younis, Waseem Akram, and Shoaib Akhtar have all demonstrated this talent over the years. This is something Shaheen Afridi possesses in spades.