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Australia didn't prepare enough for the premium event, other sides pulled out all the stops, indicates Hayden

Sydney, Nov 8 (IANS) Former Australian opener and the current Pakistan team coach for the ICC T20 World Cup here Matthew Hayden has castigated Aaron Finch’s side for not preparing enough for the “premium event”, whereas every side across the world had pulled out all the stops to ensure the best preparation for the showpiece event.

On the eve of Pakistan’s semifinal clash against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the charismatic former opener said, Finch’s side lacked freshness.

“The Australian team has some thinking to do. There has to be some freshness. And I think one of the great strengths of Australian cricket has been its ability to be able to recognise when to make that gear change into a different playing roster,” opined Hayden.

“Just 12 months (back), we were sitting here talking about the T20 champions and that was Australia. Here we are again on the eve of another semifinal. So the tournaments are coming around quick and fast. But certainly from an Australian cricket point of view there has to be planning heading towards World Cups. They’re the premium events. They’re the events that everyone across the world plans for, and Australia, unfortunately, just didn’t get it right,” he added.

Hayden also said Pakistan’s 33-run D/L win against South Africa in Super 12 at the same venue on November 3 has put the team’s campaign back on track and given the middle-order confidence.

“I loved the way in the match against South Africa, it wasn’t the Babar (Azam) and (Mohd) Rizwan show; the batting lineup had to dig deep. And Shadab (Khan, who scored 52) in that occasion was unbelievable. Middle-order having to definitely stand up. It’s been special. And it hasn’t just been through one particular player.

“It has generally been three or four players that have really had a go with great intent. (Mohammad) Haris (28 from 11 balls) was magnificent. That was a real turning point for our team. When he walked in to bat, it was basically a breath of fresh air that awakened Pakistan’s batting line-up,” added Hayden.

“Naseem (Shah) put together a great performance that night. Good comeback as well from Haris Rauf, expansive in his first few overs, but bowled on this track really well. If any conditions in Australia suit us as sub-continental players, I think this is the venue. So lots of positives came out of that match. And the arrival again of Shaheen (Afridi), who is our premium and fast bowler and the leader of fast bowlers as well. Lots of solid performances went into that, but in particular the arrival of Haris and brilliance of Shadab and our four or five fast bowlers on the money,” added Hayden.

–IANS

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