Wasim: Haider gives Pakistan X-factor

“T20 cricket is about no fear – if you hit a six, you go after a six again. That’s what Haider brings – a positivity, something new”

Last Updated: 01/09/20 11:47pm

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The best moments from Haider Ali’s half-century on debut for Pakistan in the third T20 against England
The best moments from Haider Ali’s half-century on debut for Pakistan in the third T20 against England

Teenager Haider Ali has given Pakistan’s T20 batting line-up a shot of “X-factor” after his debut fifty, says Wasim Akram.

Haider, 19, become the first Pakistan batsman to hit a half-century in his first T20 international as he struck 54 from 33 balls against England in the third and final game of the three-match series.

The right-hander hit the second ball of his international career, bowled by Moeen Ali, for six in a game Pakistan won by five runs to earn a 1-1 draw.

Haider Ali brought up his fifty from just 28 deliveries
Haider Ali brought up his fifty from just 28 deliveries

“Where was he? That’s what the whole country has been saying during the first two games,” Pakistan legend Wasim said of Haider on Sky Sports.

“Finally he has got the chance and he showed his talent against one of the best sides in world cricket. The shots he played weren’t slogs.

“Pakistan were missing that X-factor and now, with him in the playing XI at No 3, that X-factor is back,” Wasim added of Haider, who smashed five fours and two sixes.

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Mohammad Hafeez says Haider was excellent under pressure as his Pakistan team-mate scored a debut T20I fifty
Mohammad Hafeez says Haider was excellent under pressure as his Pakistan team-mate scored a debut T20I fifty

“It is an exciting time for Pakistan to have this young talent. He has a bright future and Pakistan and world cricket should be very excited.

“T20 cricket is about no fear – if you hit a six, you go after a six again. This ’90s cricket of hitting a boundary and then taking a single is no longer required.

“That’s what Haider brings – a positivity, something new. It was so much fun to see him play those shots.”

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Watch how Hafeez and Haider starred with the bat as Pakistan beat England by five runs to ensure the T20I series ended tied at 1-1
Watch how Hafeez and Haider starred with the bat as Pakistan beat England by five runs to ensure the T20I series ended tied at 1-1

Pakistan edged a thriller at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday to earn a series draw and snap England’s five-series winning streak in T20Is.

However, there was a nervy moment for the tourists when, with England requiring 12 from two balls, Tom Curran thumped Haris Rauf for six.

Rauf atoned from the final delivery with Curran unable to connect with a wide yorker but his delivery the previous ball bemused Wasim.

Wasim was confused by Pakistan seamer Haris Rauf's thought process with two balls remaining
Wasim was confused by Pakistan seamer Haris Rauf’s thought process with two balls remaining

Wasim added: “It is a huge win for Pakistan, the captain Babar Azam and the coach Misbah-ul-Haq – but I have one question for the present bowlers.

“If the opposition needs 12 to win from two deliveries, what do you bowl? A yorker! Why would you bowl a slower ball and risk it! I don’t get that mindset. Rauf learned the hard way. Just bowl low full tosses, man!

“Pakistan have a young captain, in Babar, who is learning.

“I thought he controlled the game much better than the previous game [which Pakistan lost by five wickets]. There weren’t seven people around him every two minutes. And the good decision was playing Haider.”

Source : Sky Sports