ZIMBABWE TOUR OF BANGLADESH, 2018
Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput said the team will be banking on the spinners to do the job © AFP
Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput said on Monday (November 5) that they are confident of winning the opening Test against Bangladesh as they are banking on their spinners to do the required job on the fourth day.
Bangladesh were 26 for 0 after the end of the third day and will require another 295 runs to win the opening Test against the visitors at the Sylhet International Stadium.
“It’s always difficult to chase a total on the fourth day especially, and the last ball (an off break from Sikandar Raza that spun a bit) was very encouraging. So hopefully we’ll try and bowl well tomorrow morning, and we’ve got to take the catches,” Rajput said after the day’s play. “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 tomorrow.
“We will be having a combination of medium pacers and spinners, but the bulk of the bowling will be done by the spinners, because we’ve seen that the wicket is helping the spinners,” he said. “In the first innings, the seamers bowled really well, so we were hoping that we would get one or two wickets with the new ball. But that’s not the case always, so we will have to bowl well tomorrow. There will be more emphasis on the spinners and hopefully the spinners will oblige.
“Now the Test match has been good so far, two more days to go, we have to try and bowl well and field well because such chances don’t come very often. And if you look at the stats as well, teams have not chased more than 300 in the fourth innings,” he said.
Rajput conceded that he was eyeing his 21-year-old leg-spinning all-rounder, debutant Brandon Mavuta, to take the responsibility of doing bulk of the damage.
“Legspinners are wicket-taking bowlers, but they give you loose balls as well. We are expecting that he will do the job for the team. He did bowl exceptionally well in South Africa in the one-dayers, though that’s the one-day format. Hopefully he’ll get that rhythm tomorrow because there are some odd balls that are bouncing, there is some turn, some are going straight and keeping low,” he said before adding that he would have liked Zimbabwe play more Test matches as that will help them get better prepared for challenges in these kind of situations.
”If you play more Tests, you come into these situations more often and you’re mentally well prepared as well. Since we’ve not been playing Test matches, we had a very good start to this Test match, still with a couple of days to go,” said Rajput. “Hopefully we finish off on a positive note. But I think they should play more and more Test matches, because Test matches show a lot of character and temperament, and are the real test of a cricketer,” he added.
Zimbabwe are playing their first Test this year in this series opener in Sylhet. After the next Test in Dhaka, Zimbabwe will only play their next Test against India in March 2019. Their last Test was against South Africa in December 2017.