Lance Klusener, the former South Africa all-rounder believes Zimbabwe will be up for the challenge against India in the upcoming three-match ODI series. The Regis Chakabva-led Zimbabwe side is in the midst of a transition under head coach Dave Houghton and batting coach Lance Klusener.
The Men in Blue have named a second-string squad for the short assignment. Shikhar Dhawan was initially named as captain after leading the team to a 3-0 win over the West Indies. However, the leadership role was handed to KL Rahul once the wicket-keeper batter passed his fitness test.
Lance Klusener: India Series Will Be A Great Learning Curve For Zimbabwe
The majority of the first-team players are currently preparing for the upcoming Asia Cup, which begins on August 27 in the UAE.
Looking forward to the visitors’ first tour of the nation since 2016, Lance Klusener said: “It’s a series we all are looking forward to. It will be a great learning curve for a team like Zimbabwe to play against a top side like India. It’s a good challenge for us and an opportunity for our players to learn and grow.”
Claiming that the 50-over format can be funny at times, he added: “However, we want to play good cricket and we are asking India to bring their A game as well. If they do that, they may be too strong for us but if we play well and put them under pressure, then ODI cricket is a funny game and anything can happen.”
Zimbabwe last won an ODI against India in 2010, during a triangular series that also involved Sri Lanka. Since then, the Men in Blue have recorded 12 consecutive 50-over matches against the side.
Lance Klusener Admits Despite Zimbabwe Winning The Series Against Bangladesh They Didn’t Get Off To Good Starts
Zimbabwe is on the back of a memorable series win over Bangladesh. The Chevrons put up a spirited set of performances to oust the Asian side across both white-ball formats.
Following the series against India, the team will tour Australia for a three-ODI series. They will also have an eye on their T20 World Cup qualification round, where they have been pitted alongside West Indies, Scotland, and Ireland.
Noting that the batting unit needs improvement, the former cricketer said: “I think we would like to be more consistent from the batting point of view. Yes, we won the series against Bangladesh but we didn’t necessarily get off to good starts. That for us is a concern and we are going to need to pay attention to that before the India series. “
Against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe was off to poor starts but was saved by the middle-order, particularly by the likes of Sikandar Raza. They ended up winning the ODI series 2-1 on the back of Sikandar Raza’s twin hundreds.
Zimbabwe also secured victory in the T20I series against Bangladesh. As for India, they come into the series having won 4-1 & 2-1 in the T20I and ODI series respectively against West Indies. Wicketkeeper-batter Regis Chakbava was named Zimbabwe captain as Craig Ervine continues to remain unavailable due to an injury.
Indian all-rounder Washington Sundar was ruled out of the Zimbabwe tour and he has been replaced by Shahbaz Ahmed, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed.