Zimbabwe: Injury-Hit Chevrons Seek Redemption

Senior Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE's batting coach, Stuart Matsikenyeri, has challenged the injury-hit Chevrons to fight like warriors in the second Test against Pakistan.

The latest battle gets underway today at the Harare Sports Club.

The hosts lost the opening match by an innings and 116 runs.

The defeat was largely attributed to their batting failures, after they were bowled out twice, for low scores.

But, Zimbabwe will be without the injured trio of captain Sean Williams, Prince Masvaure and Craig Ervine.

Wessly Madhevere has been called up while rookie Takudzwanashe Kaitano, who joined the squad as cover on the eve of the first Test, has been retained for the second game.

Brendan Taylor will once again stand in as captain.

Batting coach, Matsikenyeri, yesterday said the Chevrons needed to improve their performance, with the bat, so that they can stand a chance against the rampant Pakistan bowlers.

"We certainly came into this series looking to win a Test match, at least," he said.

"We have gone down in one but it doesn't mean that we can't come back.

"Obviously, they are on a high but our changing room is waiting. We want to come back with a win and we have been working on the process.

"The picture of the first game is, no doubt, that we were poor, as a batting group. I think we didn't do the team any favour to put us in a position to compete in that Test match.

"So, it's something that the batting group has taken responsibility of. Now, the job that we have done, in the last few days, has been to work hard and come back stronger, in the second Test."

Zimbabwe will go into the match with a virtually inexperienced side.

Skipper Taylor, Regis Chakabva and Donald Tiripano are the only players with more than 10 Test matches under their belt.

But, Matsikenyeri is confident of the potential in his side, a team he feels can only get better, with more exposure, to competitive games.

"Given the kind of results we have had, in our first class cricket and, obviously, we won a Test match (against Afghanistan) in Abu Dhabi recently, we can do well.

"All that needs to happen is exactly what is happening now where we get a lot more opportunities of playing Test cricket against better teams.

"That's the only way we are going to find our feet.

"I certainly believe that we have got the quality. We have got the guys with the correct technique.

"It's a matter of applying ourselves and just being mentally stronger, which is an area that we identified was lacking, in the first Test.

"We want to polish up our shot selection, and improve patience, at the crease.

"The ability to stay at the crease a lot longer, that's what Test cricket is about.

"We have worked hard making sure we defend our wickets a lot better than we did in the first Test," said Matsikenyeri.

Zim Squad:

Brendan Taylor (c), Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chisoro, Tanaka Chivanga, Luke Jongwe, Roy Kaia, Kevin Kasuza, Wellington Masakadza, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Wessly Madhevere, Takudzwanashe Kaitano

Pakistan squad:

Babar Azam (c), Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan and Haris Rauf

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