The Sunday Mail
REGIS Chakabva insisted on practicing despite carrying ‘niggles’ from the first ODI against UAE last Monday.
After making light work of UAE in the first ODI, Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput called for an optional practice the next day.
Chakabva, who had scored 38 in the match and also equalled a wicket-keeping record of five dismissals in an inning, joining the elite club of Brendan Taylor and Andy Flower (who had two five dismissals), was having none of it.
He wanted to work on a “couple of things”.
“I just felt like practicing; had a couple things I wanted to work on and it was more mental than technical and hence I had practice just to work it out,” the 31-year-old told The Sunday Mail.
“It was nice to take those catches, as a keeper you always try to catch everything that comes your way,” said Chakabva on his wicket-keeping feat.
His work ethic proved vital in the second ODI, anchoring the innings with his highest ODI score, an unbeaten 72 and forming a match-winning partnership of 93 with skipper Peter Joseph Moor(42*).
“I feel I’m in a good head-space, but obviously every game has its different challenges.
“The trick is to tackle each as it comes,” said Chakabva who is the series’ leading run-scorer with 166 runs. If captain Hamilton Masakadza was fit, maybe Chakabva wouldn’t be opening the batting or playing either.
“I’m always motivated to perform, granted it hasn’t always gone that way but, yeah, just getting the opportunity to represent your country is motivation enough,” he said.
This is an ODI comeback for the lad whose last ODI appearance had come against Bangladesh in 2015.
Over the years he has been given the ‘Test specialist’ tag.
“I wouldn’t say (my ODI career was) over, but I knew I had to perform in domestic to get the best chance for selection and fortunately I had a decent run and got the opportunity.”
He averaged 66.50 in the Pro 50 Championship.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will today look to record a first home ODI series win since beating Ireland 2-1 in 2015 when they play UAE in the third ODI at Harare Sports Club. If Moor and his boys win today’s encounter it will also be Zimbabwe’s first ODI series win since triumphing in Sri Lanka in 2017. “Everyone in the side is motivated, guys worked hard and so far we are two- up,” said Chakabva. “No time to be complacent, we approach every game with the seriousness it deserves and so hopefully we do well tomorrow (today) and Tuesday.
“Everyone in the squad wants to contribute and even the guys sitting out play a big part so it’s always a team effort. The bowlers have been really superb as well because they’ve put us in good positions to chase down.”