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With recent success against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe should now make every opportunity count against top-ranked teams

With recent success against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe should now make every opportunity count against top-ranked teams


“They should play more games, big teams like India, Australia and South Africa should play more often. We missed the T20 World Cup last time, but the players and Zimbabwe cricket team are very excited about our qualification this time. and happy.”

Former Zimbabwe coach Larkand was quoted as saying Times of Indiagiving Zimbabwean cricketers and their fans hope that their country will play the No. 1 cricket team more often.

Zimbabwean cricket has been through a lot for over two decades. Political unrest, corruption and administrative issues in Zimbabwean cricket have surfaced time and time again, but a recent limited-series victory over higher-ranked Bangladesh may offer a glimmer of hope for struggling African teams. Hopefully they will play against the top-ranked teams more often.

2019 has been a difficult year for Zimbabwe. England’s ineligibility for the Over-50 World Cup was later overshadowed by off-field issues. Back in July 2019, Zimbabwe cricket was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for violating government interference norms, but as a respite the ban was lifted in October of that year, allowing Zimbabwe to play in future matches. ICC Championship.

All the off-field problems plaguing Zimbabwe meant they had to forfeit their qualification for the 2021 T20 World Cup.

The first half of 2022 has been largely unforgettable in terms of their live performances. Series defeats against Sri Lanka, Namibia and Afghanistan put Zimbabwe at a disadvantage unless ODI wins against Sri Lanka in January. However, the second half of 2022 has given Zimbabwe cricket hope so far. In addition, Zimbabwe even qualified for the 2022 T20 World Cup after beating the Netherlands in the qualifier final in July this year.

Their recent performances against Bangladesh in the T20I series and ODI series (where they both won 2-1) proved that Zimbabwe, despite all their past off-field issues, cannot be written off.

What’s next for Zimbabwe?

For Zimbabwe, their journey did not end with the high point of the series in Bangladesh. The three-match ODI series against India from 18th August offers their cricketers a fantastic opportunity to test themselves against some of the best cricketers in the world.

After a three-match ODI series against India, Zimbabwe will travel to Australia for as many ODIs as possible later in August.

“A few days before we dispersed after last night’s game, I told the boys in the dressing room that India coming here is a great opportunity for us to really score and score against one of the best teams in the world. Good results. I told them I hope we believe we’re not just here to increase the numbers and watch India play really good cricket, but we’re here to challenge. I hope in these three games we can really Challenge India,” coach David Horton was quoted as saying sports starshortly after their ODI series victory over Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe do take part in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, but that will be a preliminary round and they will face Ireland, West Indies and Scotland. If they play their best and qualify for the competition (Super 12), that will be the biggest challenge Zimbabwe has faced in the past few years.

Innocent Kaia, X-Factor Sikandarazar

The recently concluded ODI series saw the rise of 30-year-old Innocent Kaia, who only made his ODI debut in July this year and made a major contribution in his first match against Bangladesh, amassing 110 points. Overall, in the ODI series, Sikandar Raza (two centuries) has a total of three Zimbabwean centurions, Innocent Kaia (1) and Regis Chakabva (1).

It’s certainly something to remember for Kaia, who finished third in the first round and fought bats, including with Wesley Madhevere (56) A fruitful partnership with the centurion Sikandar Raza (192).

Meanwhile, Raza has been a revelation for Zimbabwe in limited cricket, where he can be the X-factor against top teams and lead his side with some aggressive batting averages. Yes, he may have endured two ducks lately, but two fifties and two centuries in six matches against Bangladesh should keep Raza in good shape ahead of the India series. Over the past 12 months, Raza has 540 runs with a 67.50 batting average.

Make every opportunity count

Notably, Zimbabwe did overthrow Sri Lanka in the second of three ODIs earlier this year with a clinical display at bat and ball. Craig Owen (91) and Raza (56) were half centurions, while Tende Chatara and Blessed Muzarabani were the top wickets for that game. That game was a timely reminder of what a team like Zimbabwe, who had previously cultivated legends like Heath Streaker and Brendan Taylor, can do against top nations.

It is not every day that Zimbabwe face a team like India. India last toured Zimbabwe in 2016 with three ODIs and as many T20Is as MS Dhoni led. Zimbabwe’s only victory in the series came with the first T20I.

While India may not have big names like Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma to boast about, the men in blue still look strong under KL Rahul at the helm. For Zimbabwe, this will be a serious challenge against the likes of Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill and others, especially without Blessing Muzarabani.

Right now, the environment in Zimbabwe couldn’t be better. They will play India and then travel to Australia where they will compete in the T20 World Cup. For now, it should be the best contribution to India.

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