Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Craig Ervine has said his team will not change its approach to the game when they take on West Indies in a big International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifying Group A clash at Harare Sports Club this morning.
West Indies, as former world champions, are one of the favourites to win a ticket to the global showcase in India, but Zimbabwe are not worried about their opponent’s profile and pedigree.
With Zimbabwe having successfully chased huge targets in their first two matches in the tournament, Ervine thinks that those records will put pressure on West Indies.
Zimbabwe won the first match by eight wickets against Nepal before dispatching the Netherlands, chasing 291 and 316 respectively.
“West Indies are a formidable side, they are also playing good cricket and they have got quite a few match winners in their side, but I think our focus just has to be on what we have done well so far and the things that we need to improve on. I don’t think we need to look at the opposition too much, we have to focus on our strengths tomorrow (today),” Ervine told the media yesterday.
The skipper said they will be looking for an improvement in the bowling department, particularly in the first ten overs where they have struggled for wickets.
“We have played two really good games but we haven’t been at our best with the ball, so I think tomorrow we have to improve. Those first ten overs with the ball we have to get into their line-up. We need to pick up wickets in those first ten overs in the power play. We have to improve on that.”
The clash is highly anticipated and yesterday fans were jostling to lay their hands on match tickets with Sunday’s clash having attracted probably the biggest crowd seen at the Harare Sports Club.
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“Tomorrow is a big clash I think it’s gonna be a sellout crowd, lot of people looking forward to watching Zimbabwe and West Indies. We are looking forward to it, it’s a huge game for both teams looking at picking up those two points going into the Super sixes. Chasing those big scores has given us a huge amount of confidence and the other good thing is that we have had different guys putting up their hands. We have a few guys that are in good form which is nice to have going into a huge game. It just puts the opposition under a little bit of pressure knowing that 290 or 315 may not be enough.”
Ervine said they hope to feed off the rapturous crowd but they will have to keep their emotions in check on the field of play.
“We appreciate the support, it lifts the team up. We are just focusing on each game as it comes. The first two games have been supported and tomorrow will be no different but as players we have to focus on the challenges that we will face on the pitch and how to overcome them.”
Zimbabwe and West Indies are tied on four points each going into this match with the winner likely to claim the top spot, depending on the outcome of their last group matches next week.
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