Zimbabwe were hopeful of ending their 14-match losing streak against Bangladesh in one-day internationals when they face the hosts in the second match of the three match series in Sylhet with a strengthened batting line-up.
Zimbabwe are put firmly in the back foot after losing the first ODI by a whopping 169 runs, the biggest ODI win for Bangladesh in terms of runs, and have to beat the home side today to keep their series alive.
The visitors will embark on this arduous mission with the return of two of their more experienced players, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine.
Williams, who opted out of the one-off Tests due to his wife’s child birth, couldn’t partake in the first ODI due to a delay in his arrival while Ervine had to sit out from the match due to an illness.
Both are set to be included in today’s playing XI, which will bring in some much-needed positivity into the side, hoped Williams.
‘Hopefully I can bring a bit of energy and calmness. Craig Ervine is getting there too, so he will be ready to play,’ Williams told reporters at the Sylhet International Cricket Ground on Monday.
Zimbabwe were completely outplayed in the first match, with Bangladesh piling on a mammoth 321-6, powered by Liton Das’s unbeaten hundred, while the Zimbabwean batters were seemingly crushed under the weight of the asking rate, getting bundled out for 152.
Zimbabwe looked out of ideas in the first ODI, with experienced batsmen like Brendan Taylor and Sikander Raza also not putting up any notable effort.
Williams said that his team needs to enter the second match with clearer plans and hoped that the senior statesmen of the team will also pull their weight.
‘I think being 0-1 down is mentally tough for the guys. It was disappointing yesterday [Sunday] in all aspects. Moving forward, having a plan tomorrow [today] would be key.
‘I also think good decisions over a long period of time are crucial. Guys like Brendan and Raza play a massive role in our team. Having them firing is going to be extremely important for us,’ he said.
Williams also refused to accept that there was any mental block in the Zimbabwe side while facing Bangladesh, despite failing to defeat the Tigers in the fifty-over format since 2013.
‘I don’t think it’s a mental block. I think it is a simple thing of applying ourselves and getting runs on the board,’ Williams said.
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