Lanka prepared to chase any target – head coach Pothas | Daily News

Lanka prepared to chase any target – head coach Pothas

Nic Pothas
Nic Pothas

Interim head coach Nic Pothas is confident that whatever target that Zimbabwe leaves Sri Lanka with, they will go out and chase.

“There’s 12 more overs with the old ball, and then we get a new ball again. We’ll have to have a chat tonight and see what kind of plan we come up with for tomorrow morning,” said Pothas at the end of the third day.

“I’m always a firm believer that what we see on TV is not reality. Unless I get to speak to the boys that are physically out there, we’ll get a better picture. One step at a time, we need to take four wickets, and once we do that, whatever’s set we need to go out and chase. There’s plenty of time left in the game,” he said.

Pothas said that he was surprised the way Zimbabwe had fought back in the Test.

“They have a quality support staff. They are battlers and fighters. I played against Zimbabwe a long time ago in South Africa. They’re always going to fight and put up a good show. So it’s not surprising”.

On the condition of the pitch Pothas said that it had changed ‘quite a bit’ and in the subcontinent you have to accept that.

“Once the hardness went out of the ball today, it didn’t seem like it did as much as yesterday. Yesterday and day one it spun. But at the end of the day we’re playing in the subcontinent and wickets spin,” said Pothas.

“You just need to come up with plans to score, and how you’re going to get wickets. It hasn’t been anything to write home about. Today it was surprising that it didn’t do as much as expected, but we just need to find a way of getting wickets.”

Pothas gave credit to both teams the way they tackled the third day pitch.

“You’ve got to give credit to our players as well as the opposition. Once the hardness went out of the ball, it obviously became a bit more difficult. I thought Raza played really well, as did Moor and Waller. But our guys were phenomenal. They did their jobs,” said Pothas. “I thought the quality of the fielding was superb. They stuck to their job. It hasn’t been easy. But we’ll get up again tomorrow morning, try to get a few quick wickets, and then chase a score.”

Pothas who is in his first series as head coach wanted everyone to be patient with the present team.

“You need to differentiate between talent and performance. There is an amazing amount of skill in this group. We need to be patient with them,” Pothas said. “They’re putting in some good performances. At the moment, we’re certainly not as consistent as we’d like. But give it some time, and you’ll have a phenomenal cricket team.”

A really good fighting chance to win – Waller

Zimbabwe all-rounder Malcolm Waller said that his team was in with a good fighting chance to win the one-off Test against Sri Lanka at the end of the third day.

“The guys are extremely positive after the One Day series. It was great and it helped all of us mentally. We’ve got a great chance here,” said Waller who is unbeaten on 57 out of an unfinished stand of 107 with Sikander Raza.

“We can go out there tomorrow and put on another 100 runs and possibly you never know what’s going to happen. It will give us a really good fighting chance.

“Obviously when you are coming out in the second innings, it’s always going to be very tough. We had a small lead but it’s positive. It was really a shaky start and it put us under a lot of pressure in the changing room.

“It was a great partnership between Raza and PJ Moor. I think that stabilized the things and brought back the positivity. At the end of the day, we can be happy with what we have achieved,” he said.

Waller said the couple of weeks they have spent in Sri Lanka has allowed the team to start gelling really well.

“Guys are getting good ideas from Allan James, and definitely, lot more positive in the camp. Guys are in good fighting sprits and everyone is getting on well. Everyone is helping each other and pushing on.”

Waller said the mood in the dressing room at lunch was ‘very quite’ with Zimbabwe on 23-4. “It wasn’t the ideal start as we lost wickets quickly. But the batters had to remain and we sat down and thought if we guard and fight, be positive and show that you mean business and roll over for nothing. Show what you got and the guys got it in that way.

“Batting after lunch wasn’t really easy. We saw the odd one do turn. You’re always going to get the odd one that turns and jumps. We focused concentrating on every ball and it’s never easy out there. Especially, in the second innings in Sri Lanka, the pressure is always on. You just got to keep batting the way you know and back your plans.” 


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