Patience and discipline will play huge roles today – Raza | Daily News

Patience and discipline will play huge roles today – Raza

Sikandar Raza
Sikandar Raza

Zimbabwe’s savior with the bat Sikandar Raza said that if his team is to win the one-off Test against Sri Lanka today patience and discipline will play a key role.

“If we can stay disciplined and patient, there is enough for Sean Williams and (Graeme) Cremer and the other spinners as well – for balls to misbehave,” said Raza at the end of the fourth day of the Test.

“You could get a jaffa that you can’t do much about. On a track like this, once you get the senior players out, with their batting at the moment, could open a door for us to sneak through.”

Zimbabwe’s ploy against Sri Lanka was to pitch the ball on the leg stump or outside it.

“We discussed with Sean, and because there was a lot of turn with that dismissal. The moment they try and get greedy to score, the slip could come into play, the off stump could be exposed, and we could sneak in a wicket there,” explained Raza. “We wanted to hold one end so that Cremer can attack from the other. While we are holding it, we’re still creating a few chances.”

Raza paid a tribute to former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener who has been helping them with their batting as coach.

“The heads were down for a little while during that lunch break when we were 23 for 4. Lance Klusener had a word with us and said that it’s up to us – the guys who were still to bat – whether we go down without a fight, or we show some heart,” said Raza.

“The plans come from us. We discuss and share our plans with Klusener and then he has his input. Of course he has a world of experience. If I have a plan which I think is too risky, Klusener will always advise me and say you could have a better plan – do XYZ. It’s quite a nice relationship all the batters have got with our batting coach.”

Raza who scored his maiden Test hundred said, “It’s quite humbling to get my first hundred under these circumstances. It is pretty satisfying. What’s more satisfying is that we were in a bit of a hole, and everyone starting from the partnership that we had with PJ Moor, and then on to Waller, and then to Cremer, were all excellent.

“To be 388 ahead, going into the last day against Sri Lanka, in Sri Lanka, is a pretty good effort. It’s an effort that we’re confident that the result can go our way as well.”

Raza said that since Heath Streak took over as head coach and Tatenda Taibu as head selector Zimbabwe have had a settled team in the last six months or so.

“We haven’t had a lot of changes in our touring 15 or playing eleven either. Every time someone has got a chance in the playing eleven, they’ve stepped up as well,” said Raza. “Good thing is even the boys on the bench have proven their strength. They’ve taken their opportunities when presented. Since these two gentlemen have taken over, we’ve had a very consistent squad, and that goes hand in hand with consistent performances as well.

“I personally think that Zimbabwe cricket is going forward. We’ve been playing some decent cricket. Sometimes results don’t go your way. In my opinion, as long as you’re doing the right thing, working hard, and being positive, results will fall into place.

“This one could go either way. But having said that, we’re all proud of how we have played, how we have represented our country. We’ll give it another fight tomorrow, and try and win the Test match.”



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