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Rajput: We have to stay focused to win

  • Published at 03:15 pm November 5th, 2018
Hamilton Masakadza
Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza sweeps on his way to top scoring with 48 runs on day three of the first Test against Bangladesh at Sylhet Md Manik

Zimbabwe are aware that Bangladesh have never successfully chased such a total in the format

The Zimbabwe Test team touring Bangladesh are in an unfamiliar territory. 

They are in the rare position of being on top of the opposition and in sight of a possible win in the format. 

This is partly due to the fact that they get to play the least number of Test matches among the Test playing nations, and the last win for them in this format came almost five years ago in Harare against Pakistan.

When the African nation take the field at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on day four of the Test against host Bangladesh, Zimbabwe will have a clear intention of picking up all 10 opposition wickets and defend the 295 runs remaining to avoid defeat. 

They have done almost everything right by first putting up a decent total in the first innings and then get the opposition out for a much lower score to gain a big first-innings lead. 

The tourist took advantage of the situation and set a 321-run target, a total that Bangladesh have never successfully chased in Tests.

Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput said the key for his players will now be to not bring in complacency to the dressing room and keep in mind how unpredictable cricket can be at times.

“It’s a positive situation yes, and the boys are very happy, but cricket is a very funny game. It can change in just one session. We’ve got to be really focused on our bowling now, because we just have to bowl and field well. If one partnership is there, we don’t have to put our shoulders down. On this type of wicket, if one wicket falls, you might get two or three, so you’ve got to be positive when that happens,” said former India cricketer Rajput.

For the team management, it will be to keep the players in the ground positive and feed them with plans based on the situation, said Rajput.

“As a coach you’ve got to be giving them the positives, and time to time during the drinks break or the lunch break, you’ve got tell them that they’ve got to be upbeat in body language. In cricket you’ve got to have the body language that you want to win badly. That’s most important. The body language shows how keen you are to win, and you’ve got to not drop the body language at all,” the Zimbabwe coach explained.

Zimbabwe are aware that Bangladesh have never successfully chased such a total in the format. 

The highest successful chase in Tests by Bangladesh was 217 against the West Indies in 2009. 

For Bangladesh, to get through the challenge will be a daunting task and Zimbabwe will look to pounce on the opportunity.

“It’s always difficult to chase a total on the fourth day especially, and the last ball (on day three) was very encouraging. So hopefully we try and bowl well (today) morning, and we’ve got to take the catches. As you know, catches win matches because there will be a lot of catchers around the bat. So hopefully we have a good fielding and bowling session (today),” said Rajput.

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