Senior Sports Reporter
RECENTLY appointed Zimbabwe senior national cricket team coach Heath Streak is delighted by the amount of eagerness shown by his players as they fine tune for the two Tests against Sri Lanka, a series which starts at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Streak held his first training session in the capital last Thursday following the conclusion of the two four-day matches between Zimbabwe A and their Pakistan counterparts at Queens Sports Club two days before. The former national team captain said his players seem keen to get to grips with the new philosophy being imparted on them.
A team planning and building session was held yesterday after which the 20-men squad will be trimmed down to 15 for the two Tests against Sri Lanka after consultations between Streak and the head of the selection panel Tatenda Taibu. Seeing that the team was announced a week after he was unveiled as the national team coach, Streak pointed out that he was involved in the selection process. He believes that if Zimbabwe can take the Test matches to the fifth day then they stand a chance of getting positive results.
“Great energy from the Chevrons today (Thursday), they seem keen to embrace new team ethos and we have a team building session on Saturday. I was involved in the selection of the squad, we will reduce it from 20 to 15 by weekend. We can compete and if we fight to day five we can give ourselves a chance,’’ said Streak.
On the two yet to be capped youngsters who have been called up, top order batsman Tarisai Musakanda and pace bowler Carl Mumba, Streak described the two as exciting prospects. He disclosed that he has defined their roles if they are to play any part during the two Tests.
Left arm seamer Brian Vitori is unlikely to play in the two Tests as the bowler is said to have told Streak that he does not feel that he is ready for the challenges brought about by the prolonged version of the game at international level. Vitori was cleared to bowl by the International Cricket Council in July after undergoing tests on his action which had been found to be illegal in February during a Twenty20 series in Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe squad for Sri Lanka Tests:
Graeme Cremer (captain), Tinotenda Mawoyo, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Prince Masvaure, Carl Mumba, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, John Nyumbu, Christopher Mpofu, Regis Chakabva (wicketkeeper), Richmond Mutumbami (wicketkeeper), Brian Vitori, Donald Tiripano, Peter Moor (wicketkeeper), Brian Chari, Taurai Muzarabani, Tarisai Musakanda.