Zimbabwe national cricket team coach Heath Streak has given middle order batsman Sean Williams a fighting chance to make it into the team that will face Afghanistan in a crucial International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifier on March 6.
By Kevin Mapasure/ Fortune Mbele
The tournament is being hosted in Zimbabwe and before Streak’s men face group favourites Afghanistan, they will take on Nepal in their opening match on March 2 at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Williams is recovering from a broken finger and has been ruled out of the first match, but is likely to return for the second match, which could shape Zimbabwe’s destiny.
“He will be touch and go for game two and he should be definitely fit for game three,” Streak said after the team’s first training session in Bulawayo yesterday.
Williams missed Zimbabwe’s tour to the United Arab Emirates, where Zimbabwe lost 4-1 in a one day international series against Afghanistan.
His return will come as a boost to Zimbabwe who struggled against spin in the tour of the UAE.
Streak said that he was not worried about facing Afghanistan in spinning conditions, but demanded discipline and consistency from his batmen.
He tipped his batsmen to win their battle against Afghanistan’s spin and expects the tourists to struggle in seaming conditions.
“With Afghanistan, we lost to them, but we are at home in our conditions. We expect to have a bit of seam and movement and we know that they are not accustomed to that, so that is something we can use to our conditions,” Streak said.
“Our batters know their bowlers a bit better and we should fare better in home conditions, even though we acknowledge they are a good bowling side.”
He said that he had demanded better from his batsmen and wanted to see the senior players standing up.
“I have demanded the senior players to stand up. They will form the core of the team, with one or two youngsters. It’s good to be back home to play in front of our own supporters and hopefully, they can spur us on to do well.”
The former Zimbabwe captain said that he would not be taking any team lightly in this tournament, describing the associate sides as dangerous.
He wants to see Zimbabwe winning all four of their Group B matches, which would give them a good stand point ahead of the Super Sixes stage.
“We have to get some confidence back try and win all four matches in the Group, worst case scenario three. We carry the points of the teams that would have qualified to the next stage so we can’t take any team lightly,” Streak said.
“We have to win every game. Nepal are a good side they played some good cricket recently but look we just have to do the simple things well we have to be disciplined, we have the fire power in the bating which should be able to put them under pressure.
“Scotland are a good side, they have solid players we just have to be disciplined. Hong Kong are a bit unknown, but all the associate sides are dangerous they wouldn’t be here if they were not good.”