Heath Streak, the Zimbabwe coach, has said that his team is the underdog in the tri-series, which also involves hosts Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Zimbabwe are the lowest ranked team among the three in ODI cricket – they are placed tenth with 52 rating points. Sri Lanka are placed eighth with 84 rating points while Bangladesh are placed seventh with 92 rating points.
Streak, however, took confidence from Zimbabwe’s historic 3-2 series win in Sri Lanka in July last year. Zimbabwe have not played an ODI since, and need to shake off the rust quickly.
“I think we still have a long way to go,” Streak said. “We are the underdogs in this series. But I still feel that we have got the quality of players we need to take Zimbabwe cricket forward. We showed against Sri Lanka last year that we can compete against other countries outside our home territory. It was very pleasing but we have a long way to go as a team.
“[The Sri Lanka ODI series win] will give us the belief and the confidence to compete. We haven’t played a lot of one-day cricket of late. We have played more Tests while SL have played 13 ODIs since we last played them. We haven’t played any. We have prepared well and hopefully we can get into the series as quickly as possible and then get some good results early on. I feel we have the players with the skills, and give them Sri Lanka and Bangladesh a good challenge. I know our team is capable of winning.”
Streak, who was Bangladesh’s bowling coach when Chandika Hathurusingha was in charge of the side between 2014 and 2016, said he was looking forward to the challenge of facing his former team and colleague.
“These days a lot of coaches are part of a team and become opposition, he said. “I had a good relation with Chandika [Hathurusingha] and Khaled [Mahmud] Sujon, the technical director. I think it will be a good challenge for all of us.
“We know the conditions and players, so does Chandika [Hathurusingha]. I think a lot of these Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean guys play in the BPL. There aren’t many secrets out there anymore. It is about coming up with good plans and technical advice for the teams and making sure you execute those skills well.”