Williams returns for India match
Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe cricket team captain Regis Chakabva has said the availability of allrounder Sean Williams for the three-match One Day International (ODI) series against India that gets underway this morning at Harare Sports Club is a massive boost for his side.
The three-match series is part of the ODI World Cup Super League.
The first match is on today and the second one is scheduled for Saturday. The two countries wrap-up the series on Monday with the last match.
Speaking at a press conference at Harare Sports Club yesterday, Chakabva said they are ready for the series and confirmed the availability of Williams for selection for the series.
“We are ready. Obviously we have had few days of good preparations. We are coming out of a good series against Bangladesh, so we are ready.
“I have recovered well and Sean Williams is available for selection in this series.
“It’s a massive boost for us. Obviously Sean is one of the most experienced guys that we have, an all-round player, that as well. So it’s a massive boost and we are excited to have him back,” said Chakabva.
Chakabva is leading the home side in the absence of regular captain Craig Ervine, who is still nursing a left hamstring tear.
Zimbabwe will also be without Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara and Wellington Masakadza who are recuperating from thigh muscle tear, collarbone fracture and shoulder tendon injuries respectively.
However, this will not deter the Zimbabwean side that has been enjoying good form in their recent past outings.
“We have a squad that we have and obviously very capable guys. All around within the squad. Yes, we are missing a few senior players but also very exciting for the guys that have been with the squad from the Bangladesh series to now.
“These guys would have had a lot of confidence as well. The new guys that came in on that tour would have picked up a lot of confidence. So we are excited and we look forward to this particular tour,” said Chakabva.
Yesterday saw the unveiling of the trophy for the series that will be known as the Kajaria Cup India Tour of Zimbabwe ODI Series 2022.
India are touring Zimbabwe for the first time in six years, having last been in Harare in 2016 for three T20 and three ODI matches.
They won both the T20 and ODI matches.
Chakabva said this tour is huge for Zimbabwe and noted that they are not taking anything for granted as India fields some of their young players. “It’s a massive tour for us. Obviously World Championship points are at stake as well. So it is a big tournament for us and we have been (talking) about how there is no Indian B or C side.
“India can produce many sides at a time, so this is a strong Indian squad and we look forward to a good competition with them. We are very excited and the guys are looking forward to it.
“This will be one of the biggest tours for Zimbabwe Cricket and for the country as a whole I think.
“The fans have been really great, they have been coming out in huge numbers and they would have been really looking forward to this series. So we are excited and we look forward to the fans coming and hopefully entertaining the crowd as well,” said Chakabva.
The Zimbabwe captain said it’s important that they bring self-belief to the table and play some good cricket, and he believes they have a good chance against the visitors.
The presence of experienced players such as Sikandar Razar, who has proved to be key for the team, brings calmness and stability to the side. India’s captain KL Rahul said they are focusing on their strengths and trying to win matches.
“Yes, they (Zimbabwe) have done well in the previous series. We have looked through their team a little bit. But for us it is about focusing on our strengths and trying to enjoy our cricket. We have to stick to our strengths and win every game of cricket when we cross that rope.
“It doesn’t matter who we are playing, we just want to give it our best and try and win games for our country and our mindset is going to be like that,” said Rahul.
Rahul was part of the touring team in 2016.
“Very special feeling. Great memories from this ground. My first ODI and T20 debut happened here in Harare . . . Coming back after so many years and getting the opportunity to lead your country, obviously when you look back, is very pleasing. “As a person, you see how far you have come and how much you have grown as a player and as an individual. So it gives me great joy. So hopefully I can add to those memories and play some good cricket.
“The last time we came here as an Indian team, in 2016, it was a good contest and we are looking forward to a good contest again,” said Rahul.