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Pakistan captain Babar Azam backs production of ‘very special’ in T20 World Cup semi-final vs New Zealand | News about cricket


Pakistan captain Babar Azam will end his slump and create “something very special” in Wednesday’s T20 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Sydney.

That is the view of Pakistan team mentor Matthew Hayden, with Babar averaging just 7.80 in the Super 12 period, scoring only 39 runs in total and falling in the singles four times out of five.

Babar is the world’s #1 ranked former T20I hitter – India’s Suryakumar Yadav is holding the top spot these days – and has racked up over 3,200 runs and 31 fifty plus points in his T20I career myself so far.

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Speaking ahead of the semi-final, which you can watch live on Sky Sports Cricket (7.30am start, 8am start), former Australia athlete Hayden said: “In any career, you’ve got things going. important times of ups and downs and challenges, and the ledges along the way, they strengthen you and your greatness, the way you achieve in adversity.

“There’s no doubt that Babar has had to go through some adversity. That would make him just an even greater player. You can’t keep throwing punches for hundreds and 50s and billions of dollars. Attack rate is 140 points.

“As we all know about the weather, once the weather calms down, there’s usually a storm following. So look out, the rest of the world, because I think you’re about to see something. that’s very special from Babar.”

Babar Azam (Associated Press)
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Babar Azam averaged less than 8 for Pakistan in Super 12 stage of T20 World Cup

Pakistan’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals look slim after they started their Super 12 campaign with consecutive losses to India and Zimbabwe – but wins against the Netherlands, South Africa and Bangladesh, along with South Africa’s shock defeat to the Netherlandspush Babar’s men into the last four.

Now they are just two wins away from winning the T20 World Cup for the second time, having won the title in England for the first time in 2009.

‘Welcome to Pakistani cricket!’

Pakistan’s progress in Australia has been compared to Imran Khan’s ‘backward tigers’ since 1992, when the more than 50 World Cup-winning side were on the brink of elimination.

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Shaheen Afridi was run off the ball by goalkeeper Regis Chakabva at the end of the half as Zimbabwe won once against Pakistan

Hayden added: “It was a memorable match for Pakistani cricket. It was also a tournament stymied by the nuances of Pakistani cricket; meaning there wasn’t a single dominant performance.

“There was a tested performance and then suddenly Pakistan came along and they were dangerous and formidable. And that tournament was exactly that.

“[Pakistan all-rounder] Shadab Khan actually said something very important in the match the day before when we played our last match: ‘welcome to Pakistan cricket’.

“(This is a) incredible experience, it’s been a roller coaster ride, but one that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Kane Williamson (Associated Press)
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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson led his side to the top of Group 1, ahead of second-placed England

Williamson: Some players stood up

New Zealand are looking to reach their third World Cup final in four years – and hope to finally get their hands on the trophy after losing to England in the more than 50-man final at Lord’s in 2019 and then succumbing. lost to Australia in the T20 final of 2021 in the UAE.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson said: “The fickle nature of T20 and the competitive nature of the league, with all teams beating each other, means there’s no reliance on one or two people. play.

“There have been some players standing up on some occasions, and everyone has definitely put their hands up. They’re really trying to play together as a team and focus on that.

“We’re definitely focused on our challenge. And that’s a strong Pakistan.”

Watch New Zealand vs Pakistan live on Sky Sports Cricket on Wednesday. Construction begins at 7:30am before kicking off at 8am at Sydney Cricket Ground.

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