Zimbabwe Cricket team punched above their weight in the ongoing T20 World Cup and scripted one of the best underdog stories of the tournament with their one run victory over Pakistan in a low scoring encounter and have expectedly taken a lot of heart from that showing.
Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine reckoned that his team main goal was to qualify for Super 12s and compete well against the bigger teams of the tournament and they want to carry this momentum forward after the World Cup as well. “Look, we knew that coming into this tournament we had really good momentum. Obviously, got some great results leading up to the tournament. The confidence and everything was up for us coming into the tournament, and our main goal was qualifying for the Super 12s and still performing in the Super 12s against some of the bigger teams,” Ervine said.
“Going away from the World Cup, we want to take that sort of consistency with us. We know that the schedule is very busy going forward, so we want to keep this momentum that we’ve created. I think we’ve created a good support base. There’s a lot of people that are following Zimbabwe cricket, and we want to try and keep it that way and build on that going forward,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers shone well in the tournament with Blessing Muzarabani second on the list of leading wicket-takers in the tournament with 11 wickets. Ervine felt the game against India comes as a great opportunity for the bowlers to test themselves against one of the best batting units in the tournament. “This is a great opportunity to bowl against some of the best guys in the world, so there’s no reason why guys would not want to actually get out there and produce the goods. How often do you get the opportunity to put Virat Kohli in your pocket? I’m pretty sure that our fast bowlers will be raring to go come tomorrow,” Ervine said.
Ervine also reserved some praise for Sikandar Raza, who has scored 185 runs in 7 gams at a strike-rate of 149.19 and has bagged 9 wickets and also got Man of the match three times in the tournament. Ervine believed that team needs to replicate those match winning performances of Raza to come victorious against India, “Sikandar Raza has been exceptional for us in this tournament, and playing against India tomorrow we’re going to need those sort of performances I think from a lot of guys on our team if we’re going to get over the line,” Ervine said.
Zimbabwe’s encounter against Bangladesh was full of drama with more action than some other games as a whole and Bangladesh won a memorable game by 3 runs and put a big dent in Zimbabwe’s chances of making it to the semi-finals. Ervine felt they should have won that game and are disappointed to lose after coming so close. “Yeah, look, the loss to Bangladesh was very disappointing, especially to come so close, and I think more so from the position that we were in. We pretty much looked out of the game, and then Sean Williams and Ryan Burl almost got us over the line. Then the no-ball on that last ball, having to come back out into the field, you sort of sit back and think, well, maybe we’re destined to win,” Ervine concluded.