Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has been surprised by Pakistan’s confident performances in the 2021 T20 World Cup. Although Pakistan suffered a gut-wrenching loss in the semi-final against Australia, they received praise from Kaneria for their dominant showing till then.
Pakistan’s fine run at the 2021 T20 World Cup ended in a five-wicket defeat to Australia in the semi-final on Thursday. Babar Azam and co let the match slip from their grasp in the last five overs as Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis blasted Australia to victory.
Nevertheless, Kaneria said Pakistan’s displays were unlike anything he had seen, as they were full of passion and single-mindedness to win. Kaneria also lauded captain Babar Azam for keeping the team together after the defeat, saying:
“We have never seen the Pak team play with so much confidence and so well like this. In this tournament, the Pak team did not seem like their usual self. Their passion and motivation were amazing. Their fight and their eagerness to win.”
“The boys played well, and Babar Azam led from the front. How Babar Azam gave a pep talk to the team after the match was good. How he asked everyone to keep their chin high and not blame one another,” Kaneria said in his Youtube channel.
Pakistan’s failure to defend 176 ended their 16-match winning streak in the UAE in T20s and their unbeaten run in the competition. In contrast, Australia extended their perfect record over Pakistan in World Cup T20 knockout games.
“Hasan Ali was a star of Pakistan, and he still is” – Danish Kaneria
Kaneria also spoke in support of Hasan Ali, who has been in the firing line for missing a key catch against Australia. The 40-year old hailed Shoaib Malik for his on-field gesture towards Ali, and said:
“Hasan Ali was a star of Pakistan, and he still is. People do tend to miss catches and how Shoaib Malik came to back him was commendable, and we all should back him like that. I am backing him. He is the future star of Pakistan.”
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Australia’s come-from-behind win ensured a final against their Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in Dubai on Sunday, where a new T20 world champion will be crowned.