After being humiliated by Scotland in their Group B opener, the West Indies will be eager to get their ICC World T20 campaign underway, but openers Zimbabwe, and in particular all-rounder Sikandar Raza, will be no pushovers.
After a promising start, Nicholas Pooran’s team encountered a snag when they lost to Scotland in their first game in the group round. Even if it would be a mistake to count out the defending Men’s T20 World Cup champions just yet, worrying trends were seen in advance of the tournament’s most important matches.
As a result of the team’s performance, coach Phil Simmons labeled West Indies’ attitude as “unprofessional.” Will this serve as incentive for Pooran and his side to turn things around?
Having just beaten Ireland on Monday, the Africans would be eager to knock the West Indies out of the competition if given the chance in their match against Zimbabwe.
To defeat the Irish, the Zimbabweans rallied behind Sikandar Raza’s brilliant innings. But captain Craig Ervine and coach David Houghton would want to see more aggression from the top of the lineup so that they don’t have to rely just on talisman Raza.
Zimbabwe’s true strength, however, is in their bowling, and all of their bowlers are coming into this match on the heels of a solid performance and optimistic about their prospects against the West Indies. A crucial late-innings contribution would boost the confidence of even Luke Jongwe, who bowled two costly overs against the Irish.
Since Houghton’s hiring as coach, there has been an uptick in confidence among the Zimbabwean squad, and the Africans are widely predicted to once again play fearless cricket. Windies cannot afford to allow the all-rounder, Raza, settle comfortably at the crease since he is rightfully the man of the match.
West Indies Cricket Team
The Windies might make a few changes to their bowling unit and are likely to strengthen their batting order.
Players of Critical Importance
The Pooran, Nicholas
The southpaw’s stroke play may single-handedly swing the outcome of a game on his best day. He also has dry spells and has difficulty breaking out of routines.
If the West Indies go far in the competition, I’m curious how he’ll balance his responsibilities as captain with his time in the batting cage.
The West Indies are now in dire need of Pooran’s fluency at the crease.
Ervine is likely to go back to the senior pro pacer Tendai Chatara on the powerplay since his initial stint in the last game put the Irish on the defensive.
A solid foundation laid by Chatara’s bowling allowed Blessing Muzarabani to take three wickets. Zimbabwe will rely heavily on the 31-year-expertise old’s to prevent Mayers and Lewis from scoring quick runs in their innings.
Wesley Madhevere, Regis Chakabva, Craig Ervine (c), Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, and Milton Shumba.
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Tropical America & the Caribbean
The roster for the Windies included Kyle Mayers, Evin Lewis, Johnson Charles, Shamarh Brooks, Nicholas Pooran (c & wk), Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, and Sheldon Cottrell.
Choose Your Dream XI
Select One, Captain:
General Sikandar Raza
Zimbabwe beat Ireland in their tournament opener because to an outstanding performance from Sikandar Raza, who scored 82 runs (including five fours and as many sixes) in 48 balls. With 598 runs scored at an average of almost 43 and 16 wickets taken, he leads Zimbabwe in both categories in Twenty20 Internationals in the year 2022.
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A Necessary Possession:
Although the West Indies lost their first game of the T20 World Cup against Scotland, the all-around performance of Jason Holder was a bright spot for the team. The 30-year-old bowled for two overs at an economy of 4.70 and batted for 38 to cut his team’s deficit to 21 runs. For the West Indies, he has played in 47 T20 Internationals, during which time he has amassed a total of 48 wickets and 381 runs.
The Zimbabwean fast bowler struggled against Ireland, allowing 24 runs in only two overs while without claiming a single victim. After that, he went three white-ball innings without taking a wicket. But he has been reliable for Zimbabwe, as seen by his 48 wickets in 38 T20Is, and he should be among the wickets in the match against West Indies.
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