LAHORE - Pakistan cricket team batting consultant Matthew Hayden has said that Fakhar Zaman knows how to fight and he can surprise Australia in the second semifinal of the T20 World Cup.  

Addressing a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Hayden said that the role of Fakhar Zaman in the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad is important one. “I know him quite well, I know that he used to be in the Navy and that he knows how to fight. He is a good fielder and saves a lot of runs. Don’t be surprised if you see something incredibly special from Fakhar today, as well, because he is smashing the ball in the nets,” he added. 

The former Australian opener also lauded the role of Pakistan captain Babar Azam saying that he has a very good temperament and he has been scoring runs consistently. “Babar is very consistent and stable and not overly flamboyant. In fact, I’d go as far as to say he’s almost the opposite personality to someone like Virat Kohli, who’s very animated, very passionate, and very boisterous on the field. 

“Babar is highly talented... and just to give you an insight into that talent, his ability to be able to consistently react to the ball is really second to none that I’ve seen,” he asserted. 

Throwing weight behind left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hayden said that he has the ability to destroy any team’s batting line-up and especially his delivery that bamboozled Indian batsman KL Rahul was impressive. “Quality pace is most certainly part of Shaheen Afridi’s arsenal and the white-ball does not swing for a long time in T20 cricket, in particular, it seems to be a number of balls, not a number of overs. “Those number of balls can be destructive, as we saw in his delivery against KL Rahul, one of the best balls I have seen ever,” he added. The Pakistan team batting consultant said that Islam has brought the players closer and played an instrumental role in unifying the Pakistan cricket team. He said that Australian legend Dean Jones was also quite fond of Pakistani cricketers, and used to refer to the Men in Green as “his boys”. 

About Pakistan team progress in the T20 World Cup, he said he is quite happy with the national squad, adding that he has learnt that they are all really impressive cricketers. “Pakistan cricket team can play good cricket against any team in the world,” he said. However, Hayden warned that Australia are not easy opponents and have a stellar record when it comes to playing in World Cups.