T20 World Cup 2021: Matthew Hayden, Vernon Philander select their best Pakistan batters and bowlers

T20 World Cup 2021: Matthew Hayden, Vernon Philander select their best Pakistan batters and bowlers

Pakistan, on Thursday, crashed out of the tournament after their five-wicket loss to Australia in the semi-final.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Former South Africa pacemen Vernon Philander termed Shaheen Shah Afridi a “a world class performer”, but picked Haris Rauf over him as Pakistan’s standout fast bowler. Philander, also Pakistan’s outgoing bowling coach, said that the 28-year-old Rauf is more matured than Shaheen.

Rauf was arguably the standout pacer for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2021. The right-armer picked up eight wickets from six games at an economy rate of 7.30 and bowled with great speeds. He also got the Player of the Match award against New Zealand for picking up a four-wicket haul.

Vernon Philander opines

“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 in Pakistan cricket’s official YouTube channel.

Matthew Hayden, Pakistan’s batting consultant during the mega event, said that Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have done brilliantly for the team over the past few months. He also had words of praises for Asif Ali, who showed his class with the bat in the matches against Kane Williamson’s Black Caps and Mohammad Nabi’s Afghanistan.

“Our batters were just brilliant in this tournament. In particular, inside the powerplay, Rizzi (Rizwan) and Babar, those two set the platform every game. Powerplay tends to be where you dominate T20 cricket. The balance of power at the death is very key, in particular, I think that 17th over from the batting sense, we’re pretty good there. Someone like Asif (Ali) coming and smashing,” Hayden said.

Hayden, one of Australia’s prolific run-scorers during his heydays, also lauded young batters Khushdil Shah and Haider Ali as bright prospects for Pakistan.

“They have got some unexplored talent as well. Looking at Khusi (Khushdil Shah) and Haider (Ali), these guys have got serious talent and power,” he added.

Khushdil was initially included in the 15-man squad for the World Cup after which he was moved to the reserves. Haider Ali was a part of the main team, but didn’t get to play a single match. Pakistan, on Thursday, crashed out of the tournament after their five-wicket loss to Australia in the semi-final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.