Pakistan’s T20 team mentor first showed his naturally brilliant coaching ability after his side advanced to the semi-finals of the tournament as he delivered an all-time post-match speech to his charges.

The burly Queenslander commanded the room as he spoke of his faith in the team, and the “miracle” he could see unfolding as they continued playing together.

Now, the 51-year-old batting coach is being marvelled for showing faith, patience and belief to a superstar who’s struggled in the early stages of the T20 World Cup.

Speaking ahead of Pakistan’s semi-final victory over New Zealand at the SCG on Wednesday evening, Hayden was questioned about the team’s captain and opener Babar Azam, who had endured an uncharacteristically poor run of form in the early stages of the tournament.

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The 28-year-old batting superstar had reached double figures just once previously in the tournament, however Hayden knew from experience he was about to turn it all around.

Drawing on his memory of former teammate Adam Gilchrist and his own form fluctuations with the bat, Hayden declared the timing was right for the world to see ‘fireworks’ from Azam.

“If I can take your minds way back to a different World Cup, the 2007 World Cup, and Adam Gilchrist had by his standards a very lean World Cup,” Hayden said on Tuesday.

“And if you remember that last match against Sri Lanka, he went on to score an incredible 100, don’t be surprised whatsoever if you see some fireworks (from Babar), because very special players don’t stay down for long.

“Look out the rest of the world because I think you’re about to see something very special from Babar.”

Hayden also revealed his coaching mindset was to stick with players going through rough patches of form as they’d always improve as a result.

“There’s no question that Babar has been under some adversity. That will only make him an even greater player,” Hayden said.

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

Just one day later Hayden’s unwavering faith in Azam was rewarded as the opener blasted 53 off 42 against the Kiwis to lead Pakistan’s successful run chase and propel the side to the World Cup final.

Azam and Rizwan (57 off 43 balls) brought up their eighth T20I century partnership in the 12th over, doubling the tally for the next best pairing in world cricket.

The Pakistan skipper’s onslaught came to a halt in the 13th over, caught at the long-on boundary off Trent Boult’s bowling for 53 – but the damage had been done.

Soon after young gun Mohammad Haris steered the Pakistanis home with five balls to spare.

For Pakistani fans back home, Hayden’s coaching masterclass was once again one of the highlights of the match, with many taking to social media to laud the Aussie great for his leadership and class.

“Tonight was very special,” Hayden said after the match.

“Everyone will talk about Babar and Rizwan, but that bowling attack did an unbelievable job.

“Sky is the limit and both of these guys have done it for Pakistan for a number of years.”

Hayden also praised Azam in another stirring dressing room speech following Wednesday night’s victory, as you can see in the video below.

Pakistan will face either England or India in the T20 World Cup final at the SCG on Sunday evening, with the first ball scheduled for 7pm AEDT.

Most century opening partnerships in men‘s T20Is

8 – Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (PAK)

4 – Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (IND)

4 – Aaron Finch, David Warner (AUS)

4 – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (IND)

– With Nic Savage

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