Zimbabwe coach Makhaya Ntini believes that his team has improved despite the lost both the One-Day International and Twenty20 International series against India. In the last one year, Zimbabwe won eight ODIs of their 28 matches and have lost as many as 14 of their 21 T20Is as well. He said it was only matter of belief.
“You look at the team where it was, from the ODIs to get to the T20s. There’s so much improvement, the energy. You’ve seen the guys running around, diving around, believing in themselves. They get in the situation where they just need that 10% of belief for them to go through. When you get to the situation where you think you’re almost through the line, becoming a hero, create a history, it just needs a little bit of push for us. We want to see guys coming back here and fill up the stadiums. The cricket that was played today tells that there’s so much this country can do,” Ntini said.
Now, Zimbabwe is playing only ODIs and T20 matches. Makhaya Ntini thinks players should focus on Test cricket. “This is a Test nation country. We can’t really close our opportunities and only believe on one side of an inning. T20 is just an entertaining game. We need to build players to believe that they will be able to play any game. There’s Tests coming up against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, so if we only play T20s, how can we improve ourselves and keep our Test status?” he added.
The former South African pacer hinted that the next big challenge for Zimbabwe was to get into the World Cup 2019 without having to go through a qualifier round. For that, said Ntini, Zimbabwe needed to find and groom players who were “willing” to take them forward come what may.
“We need to find those players who are concentrating just on winning. We need to find those who believe that they can bat the whole day. This is what we are trying to put to them. You look at countries like West Indies. They walked in and believed. It doesn’t matter if we lose three wickets up front, because we have a lot of time to build. This is what we want to create in Zimbabwe, whereby the senior players take the responsibility instead of just going in and playing the same shot as the other one who has just got out. That is what we want to achieve here,” Ntini told.