Late batting surge reduced the margin of defeat, but Lalchand Rajput believes top-order is the key to succeed in the remaining matches
Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput is confident his charges will bounce back, but also admitted that their top-five batsmen need to perform well in order to stand a chance in the second and penultimate ODI against host Bangladesh at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium in Chittagong Wednesday.
Zimbabwe lost the first ODI against the Tigers by 28 runs at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Sunday.
Chasing 272 for victory, Zimbabwe at one stage were reduced to 100 for the loss of five wickets, and were never really in the game since then.
Late batting surge reduced the margin of defeat, but Rajput believes top-order is the key to succeed in the remaining matches.
“We should have batted better at the last game. The top-five has to take the responsibility and if one batsman gets a big score, I think we will definitely give a run for money. I am really happy we gave a good fight in spite of the position. Sean Williams and Kyle Jarvis really batted well. Cephas Zhuwao gave a good start but there are areas where we have to work very hard. The key area is the top-five,” said Rajput to the media during training at ZACCS Tuesday.
Dropping him after just one match is highly unlikely at the moment, and according to sources, he will get another chance to prove himself in the second ODI.https://t.co/y2A9O6JMIo#FAZLEMAHMUD #FAZLE #MAHMUD #RABBI #FAZLEMAHMUDRABBI #FAZLERABBI #MAHMUDRABBI #CRICKET #BANGLADESH— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) October 23, 2018
“We bowled really well in the first 30-35 overs. So we have to look at the death overs. The middle overs for the batsmen are very crucial. We have addressed both issues so hopefully we will do better in this game,” he added.
Senior players like Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor need to lead from the front with the bat and Rajput is of the opinion that it’s only a matter of time before the batting duo score big for the team.
“The senior players have to take responsibility in the game. Masakadza got a hundred in the practice game so hopefully he can convert into the ODIs. Taylor is getting starts so hopefully a big score will come. I am sure they also feel they have to get a big score. It is coming, I am sure it is coming very soon,” said Rajput.
Surprisingly, all-rounder Elton Chigumbura, the most capped player in the current Zimbabwe squad, was dropped from the playing XI in the first match.
Chigumbura has played 211 ODIs for Zimbabwe so far, and also scored 47 in their lone practice match at BKSP in Savar Friday.
@BCBtigers captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza found much positives from the first match against visiting @ZimCricketv and expressed hope that the Tigers will show a more clinical performance in the 2nd and penultimate ODI in Chittagong and clinch the serieshttps://t.co/UMFa2Xcwcj#BCB— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) October 23, 2018
But Rajput informed that the experienced all-rounder was dropped due to team combination.
Zimbabwe failed to advance to the 2019 World Cup after coming short in the qualifiers this year.
But the Zimbabwe camp is trying to get over it, and get back on track as soon as possible.
“It is difficult but I am a positive person. We have got to get those positive vibes. You have to try to win any game, irrespective [of participating] in the World Cup. The players are looking forward to win,” he concluded.