Pakistani players were “completely devastated” after their five wicket defeat to Australia in the T20 World Cup semifinal but the dressing room was different in their opening match against arch-rivals India, batting consultant Matthew Hayden said.
Pakistan went into the semifinals with an all-win record but suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Australians whose batter Matthew Wade snatched a sensational victory by smashing three consecutive sixes in the penultimate over.
“The scenes in dressing room, it didn’t shock me when you do play with your heart. Just how heart gets broken when you go into a match with expectations and it doesn’t come off due to a number of different reasons,” Matthew Hayden said in conversation with bowling coach Vernon Philander.
The footage of the conversation was uploaded by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“Your heart is broken that’s what really you saw in the dressing room, just scenes of complete devastation.”
Matthew Hayden, who was hired for the duration of the T20 showpiece, said he saw a different Pakistani team during the comprehensive win against India.
“Going right back to the first match against India, from an outsider’s perspective, looking at that change room the scene was entirely different, very calm, very relaxed and very balanced approach. It was such a huge match,” said the former prolific Australia opener.
Vernon Philander, however, said that the big occasion got to the players a little bit and calmness factor was missing.
“If we are brutally honest to ourselves, I think the moment got to us a little bit. Probably a little bit of panic set in, especially in fielding. It’s one area that we highlighted, it could harm us. And It cost us a little bit in semifinal,” he said.
“The calmness factor was probably missing in the semifinals. You need to perform at the key moments,” said the former Protea pacer.
Matthew Hayden said captain Babar Azam and opener Mohammad Rizwan were brilliant during the tournament. He also had words of praise for ‘finisher’ Asif Ali, who was at his best in the matches against New Zealand and Afghanistan.
“Our batters were just brilliant in this tournament. In particular, inside the powerplay, Rizzi (Rizwan) and Babar, those two set the platform every match. In T20 cricket, you have to dominate powerplay.
“The balance of power at the death is very key, in particular, I think that 17th over throughout the tournament from the batting sense, we’re pretty good there. Someone like Asif (Ali) coming and smashing,” Hayden said.
“Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled two magic balls against India early on and in the semifinals he trapped Aaron Finch.”
Vernon Philander termed Shaheen Shah Afridi “a world class performer”, but picked Haris Rauf over him as Pakistan’s standout fast “Haris (Rauf) is the one for me that stands out.
Shaheen is of course a world-class performer. But, in terms of maturity, Haris is
the one that stands out for me,” Philander said.
Hayden praised Babar for his leadership qualities, saying he has been fantastic as a captain throughout the tournament.
“His leadership was superb, very calm, very meticulous in his own preparations and very thorough on team preparation as well.
I feel best players are often the best captains as well.”
Both Hayden and Vernon Philander asked the Pakistani fans to back the current team.
“As fans, guys you’ve got to stick with this generation of Pakistani cricketers because they bleed for you guys and they really want to make sure that you are proud and I am hoping that’s what you are,” said Hayden.
“Stick behind this team and hopefully they can go and win the trophies and tournaments in the recent future,” Philander added.