Zimbabwe could not have hoped to have gone into the ODI series against India in higher spirits, having beaten Bangladesh in both the T20I series and the ODI series that followed. Before Bangladesh visited, Zimbabwe also sealed qualification for the 2022 T20 World Cup by beating Netherlands in the final of the Qualifiers. Opening batter Innocent Kaia spoke to NDTV and said that the team is high on confidence and that India won’t have it easy in the three-match contest.
“The confidence is high at the moment because the guys are playing well. The coach is always positive when it comes to playing cricket. He is always telling us what to do and what not to do,” Innocent told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
“I’m sure we’ll give India a tough time when they come here,” he said. “I’m looking forward to win this series, that’s the plan.”
One of the prime architects of Zimbabwe’s recent run of wins has been Sikandar Raza. The 36-year-old all-rounder hit half-centuries in the two T20Is they won against Bangladesh and then two unbeaten centuries in the two ODI triumphs.
“Sikandar Raza is batting well at the moment. He’s in the form of his life at the moment. Everything that he touches turns to gold,” Innocent Kaia said.
“So we’re just looking forward that he keeps that momentum. Whatever he is doing, he is going to do it against India,” he said.
And did it help that they faced a team like Bangladesh, who have a good spin attack, before India’s visit?
“For me it played a big part. Because firstly I played against Afghanistan. Facing Mujeeb and Rashid Khan and I played them well. And then we played Bangladesh, facing Taijul (Islam). They didn’t have Shakib but Mehidy Hasan Miraz, he’s a good off-spinner,” Innocent said.
“It’s a good boost for the team because we got experience against good spinners. A good seam attack as well, facing Mustafizur Rahman. He is a good bowler,” he said.
“For us, at the moment, I don’t want to lie, we are playing good cricket,” he reasserted.
The 30-year-old also named a bowler he was looking forward to face.
“Mohammed Siraj is a good bowler. It will be nice facing him. It will be nice to get runs off him because he’s a good bowler,” he said.
India will face off against Zimbabwe in three ODIs in Harare.
The series will be broadcasted on the Sony Sports Network and can be streamed on SonyLIV.
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