The Sunday Mail
CHEVRONS all-rounder Sikandar Raza has revealed the secret behind the national cricket’s team 12-run victory of Sri Lanka last week.
Zimbabwe went into their second match of the ongoing Tri-nation series in Bangladesh having fallen by 8 wickets to the hosts and were widely to be blown away but the locals responded well and will be a confident lot as they prepare to face Sri Lanka again today.
“After that defeat to Bangladesh, we told ourselves that we are a much better side compared to what we have been showing to ourselves and to people back home.
“We said we have under-performed so let’s improve and the rest will look after itself,” said Raza who was named man of the match after an unbeaten knock of 81 not out.
The 31-year-old all-rounder is enjoying a remarkable run of form in ODIs averaging 68.80 in 10 innings since February 2017.
He credits a stint in the Bangladesh Premier League last December where he scored 278 runs from 11 innings at 39.71 with a highest score of 95 for his team Chittagong Vikings.
“BPL certainly played a huge part, I reckon, and am very humbled about the opportunity I got to play in that tournament.”
As one of the senior players in the national side, Raza feels he has to perform consistently as Zimbabwe prepares for this year’s World Cup qualifiers.
“Form is funny, one time on the up and one moment down,” he said.
“Am always under pressure, playing for your country comes with a responsibility which adds pressure so how we deal with it is up to us. It looks like we have been showing our ability of late.
“We set foot in Bangladesh with only one thing in mind and that was World Cup qualifiers.
All what we are doing now will count for nothing if we don’t qualify for the World Cup. The qualifiers are coming in March and we have to be ready.”
Zimbabwe need to finish in the top two of the ten-team tournament to qualify for the 2019 World Cup to be hosted in the United Kingdom.