Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe Cricket team is set to lock horns with, arguably, the best cricketing nation in the world, India in three One Day International matches starting today at Harare Sports Club.
After the cancellation of the 2020 tour by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) due to Covid-19, India make the long awaited return to Zimbabwe, a country they last visited in 2016.
The matches are scheduled for August 18, 20 and 22.
Since Dave Houghton took over from Lalchand Rajput, Zimbabwe has been playing fearless cricket which has seen them secure a spot in this year’s T20 World Cup.
The Chevrons also beat Bangladesh in a white ball series, a first series win against a full member since 2017.
Zimbabwe hope the fine run with bat and ball will continue against mighty India.
The Chevrons, full of confidence, will, however, be missing the services of captain Craig Ervine, Blessing Muzarabani and Tendai Chatara due to injury.
The team will be led by Regis Chakabva for the second time. Sean Williams, who was not included in the squad, has joined the camp and trained with the team together with Tarisai Musakanda.
Team India will be under the stewardship of KL Rahul, who had to pass a late fitness test to join the team after a lengthy injury had kept him out.
They were initially meant to be captained by veteran batter Shikar Dhawan who will now be vice-captain.
Zimbabwe all-rounder Ryan Burl believes the Chevrons have what it takes to stop India from registering a clean sweep from the series.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t win; we do have home advantage and we have been playing quite well at home recently and we look very positive and hopefully we will do something special,” said Burl in an interview with Indian outlet, The Times of India.
Burl also believes that playing against a team like India is massively important for them and they will make the most of it.
“We don’t get a chance to play India often and so when you get these opportunities you have to kind of put your hand up and make the most of it,” Burl said.
Shikar Dhawan said it’s a good thing that the Chevrons have been in form and they will not take anything for granted.
“It’s a good thing for us, it’s going to keep us on our toes.
We won’t take anything for granted or lightly and we are here to perform as a group team,” said Dhawan.
Dhawan also believes that their tour to Zimbabwe is good for the Chevrons who need much cricket to improve.
“It’s a good thing for cricket that we play Zimbabwe and it’s a good thing for us and a good thing for them as well to play such a quality side, it will give them confidence and good for us to try our young guns coming and playing in different conditions,” said the Indian vice-captain Dhawan.
He added: “It’s a good exposure for both sides, Zimbabwe is going to get better when playing against quality sides, they are going to learn.”
According to Burl, coach Dave Houghton encouraged them not to overcomplicate things so as to avoid making mistakes.
“Keep it as simple as possible, score as many runs as possible and as quick as possible and for the bowlers, try to go for the least amount of runs as possible,” said Burl as they were advised by the coach.”