We will cross the line: Rajput
Zimbabwe batsmen have managed to score just two fifties in their last seven matches, including the unbeaten half century from Sean Williams during the first of a three-match ODI series against Bangladesh on Sunday.
Therefore, batting remains the biggest concern for Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput.
From skipper Hamilton Masakadza, Brendon Taylor and Elton Chigumburu, who despite adding a crucial partnership with Masakadza in the warm up game against the BCB XI was not included in the first ODI, the Zimbabwe top order has remained below-par in the recent past.
In spite of the poor show from their batsmen in the first ODI, Zimbabwe managed to avoid a big defeat but nonetheless, according to Rajput, his top five batters need to take responsibility and put up a better show this time around.
“If you look at the last game, we should have batted better. The top five has to take the responsibility and if one batsman gets a big score, I think we will definitely give Bangladesh a run for their money. I am really happy that we put up a good fight [in the first ODI] in spite of our position. Williams and Jarvis really batted well. Cephas [Zhuwao] gave a good start but there are areas where we have to work very hard. The key area is the top five,” Rajput told reporters yesterday on the eve of their second ODI against the hosts at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Rajput went from interim to permanent coach in August this year but following nine consecutive losses under his stewardship, the pressure has started to mount.
“It is a long list but in the first eight games we didn't have our players. Now the senior players have returned and we are getting closer but not crossing the line. South Africa were 100 for seven in one game but we still couldn't win. Even in the T20Is. We are getting it together but the day will come soon that we will cross the line,” he said.
Interestingly, Zimbabwe initially dominated the hosts in the first ODI as Bangladesh struggled on 139 for six inside thirty overs. However, the visitors failed to utilise their momentum. After that 28-run defeat, Rajput put emphasises on the death over bowling as Imrul Kayes and Saifuddin hammered 85 runs in the last ten overs to change the course of the match.