Zim aim to rock India

HARARE - Shunning any sense of inferiority and bringing their A game into the limited over series which begins today at Harare Sports Club is what Zimbabwe coach Dav Whatmore is hoping can catch India cold.

Zimbabwe cricket are seeking a fiery start to the first ODI against the former world champions who are without explosive big guns such as MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Shikhar Dhawan.

The quintet is among eight players rested but Whatmore believes India has brought other equally talented players who have been impressive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the last couple of years.

“The opposition still has some good players and you don’t get national call up without earning it,” he said yesterday.

“There are a number of good players who can be dangerous without having experience. So this represents an opportunity for some of the young Indian players to impress.

“But our agenda is different. Our agenda is to get together a winning combination, improve and get more confidence. We have shown that we are capable but we have not been able to get over the line. We know the areas we need to improve and hopefully the results will show in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Zimbabwe has often been good starters, grafting their way into commanding positions only to self-destruct at the finish line.

Whatmore is expecting nothing short of an all-round performance if a Zimbabwean side ranked 10 places below the tourists is to cause an upset.

“As individuals there are certain key areas we need to get right and if we get them right we have a good chance of winning,” he said.

“Every team has their KPIs (Key performance Indicators) and we have been doing fairly well, but certain areas like our attack, we have to pick up wickets a little bit more regularly.

“We need to improve our fielding, and if we can continue our performance with the bat we are in a good position to win.”

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura says the side is eager to start with their best foot forward.

“Any series that you play you want to start on a positive and start well,” he said.

“Everyone is eager to go. We have prepared well. The only thing that is left is to go out in the park and play.

India captain Ajinkya Rayane says they have respect for Zimbabwe but that does not mean they will take a relaxed approach to the three ODIs and two T20s.

India won all their games when they toured Zimbabwe in 2013.

“We need to gain momentum towards the end of the series so it’s important we get off to a good start tomorrow,” he said.

“I would say we have a pretty experienced attack, we are here to win and we will ensure we do everything we can to achieve that objective.”

ZIM SQUAD: Elton Chigumbura (Captain), Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Graeme Cremer, Neville Madziva, Hamilton Masakadza, Richmond Mutumbami, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Donald Tiripano, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller and Sean Williams.

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