Taylor seeks exciting turnaround

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The Zimbabwe national cricket team will play to entertain when they take on Pakistan in the first of the two-match Econet Wireless T20 series at the Harare Sports Club this afternoon.

The match starts at 2pm.

Speaking on the sidelines of the tournament sponsorship launch at the match venue on Thursday, captain Brendan Taylor said that the team was motivated to pay back the fans who have been loyal during this tour, albeit with no positive results.

Econet made a return to cricket after signing up to sponsor the T20 series for an undisclosed amount, but promising to continue pouring in money into the fastest growing sport in the country.

Taylor said players had a perfect opportunity to express themselves.

“I think this is our time to enjoy ourselves and we want to play to entertain the fans and hopefully bring back smiles with a winning performance,” said Taylor.

“I think the 3-0 defeat in the ODIs (one-day internationals) does not reflect the level of competition in that series because we played well and we deserved more than we got. But we did not play our best cricket, something we aim to do in this series and we genuinely feel we can take this one.”

The right-handed batsman will be captaining Zimbabwe for the first time in this format of the game.

He singled out returnee Charles Coventry and all-rounder Elton Chigumbura as key to Zimbabwe’s prospects.

“They are very good clean hitters of the ball and they can hit the ball to long distances. This is their time to shine and enjoy themselves, so they are both looking forward to it as is everyone else in the squad. Coventry has had a difficult year, after losing his father and he has not had the best of form, so this is his time to deliver on the big stage and he is talented enough to do that.”

Taylor was happy about his own form going into this series having scored two half-centuries in the 50-over series.

He is hoping that they can get a positive result and show the world that they have matured as a unit and have improved in all aspects of the game.

Of importance in this match will be Zimbabwe’s fielding which, having been their stronger aspect of the game, has suffered with a catalogue of costly dropped catches in both Tests and ODIs.

In the last ODI in particular, Zimbabwe spilled simple catches with the tourists going on to put 370 on the board. Taylor singled that out as an area of concern which needs improvement.

“Our batting has improved a lot. We bat much better now, but our fielding has not been the best and it will be important that we field to the best of our abilities in this format of the game.”

Squad

Brendan Taylor, Tatenda Taibu, Hamilton Masakadza, Charles Coventry, Vusi Sibanda, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Raymond Price, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Chris Mpofu, Kyle Jarvis, Malcolm Waller, Cephas Zhuwawo and Regis Chakabva.