Chevrons shift focus to India

14 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Chevrons shift focus to India

The Sunday Mail

Don Makanyanga
Sports Reporter

FOLLOWING a rare, but confidence-boosting One-Day International cricket series triumph over Bangladesh, the Chevrons will have their resurgence put to the test when they host a much tougher proposition — India.

The Chevrons concluded back-to-back 2-1 series wins over the Asian Tigers in the T20 and ODI versions of the game.

They will now host India at Harare Sports Club in a three-match series scheduled to begin on August 18, and is a part of the ODI World Cup Super League.

Zimbabwe are enjoying a purple patch in the white-ball format of the series, having qualified for the ICC T20 World Cup after a clean sweep in the qualifiers staged in Bulawayo.

In beating Bangladesh, the Chevrons ended a barren run spanning almost a decade against the Tigers.

Their last series win over Bangladesh in the longer version of the limited overs came in 2013.

Wicketkeeper-batter Regis Chakabva, who experienced his first series win as captain, is looking forward to continuing the winning streak against India this week.

“The coach had a small word with the team after the Bangladesh series as we looked forward to this India series and it’s all positive talk really.

“We believe if we play good cricket, we have a good chance to upset them and get some much-needed points,” said Chakabva.

The Chevrons’ resurgence has coincided with the return of Dave Houghton as head coach in April, with the former Zimbabwe captain promoting a new brand of exciting cricket.

Chakabva, who acknowledges that an automatic qualification to next year’s World Cup is beyond their reach, feels the team needs to continue playing good cricket.

“It’s very tough now where we are to get automatic qualification.

“There are points at stake but we want to focus mainly on the process, and if we do that right, then we are moving forward.

“There is always pressure to perform; the big thing is that we make good decisions in those pressure moments and that is where we learn and grow.

“I think what is more important right now is that we focus on the processes of playing good cricket, and if we can get that good approach going and work on it as we are trying, then come the qualifiers, we will be in a good place and make it count.”

Injuries have left Zimbabwe with a depleted squad, prompting Houghton to use 17 players in the last series against Bangladesh.

Despite leading a depleted squad, Chakabva has backed the selected players to do duty against a strong Indian team, which on Friday reinforced their squad by adding captain Kannaur Lokesh Rahul.

“We are missing a number of senior guys but the side that played against Bangladesh is pretty much the same, so it is another good opportunity for the young squad to showcase their skills,” he said.

The Chevrons skipper revealed that the combination of Houghton and batting coach Lance Klusener had positively impacted on the team.

“Dave and Lance have had a very positive impact on the team, from the way we have been going about with preparations to mental approach, it’s all been very positive.

“There is focus on playing aggressive but smart cricket and that is not something that comes suddenly; it’s a long process, but it’s been good so far in terms of guys trying to work that approach out, and this series will be a tough test, but we are excited and look forward to expressing ourselves and hopefully get the results we want to achieve.”

Zimbabwe and India have met 63 times, with the hosts winning 10 times.

Of the 10 times that the Chevrons have won, four of the games have been at home.

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