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It’s not broken, don’t fix it: Raza

Sikandar Raza

CHEVRONS captain Sikandar Raza is hoping the Zimbabwe Cricket selectors will stick to the same team that played the first two T-20 Internationals against touring India.

The star all-rounder backed his young side to get better with more outings following Sunday’s 100-run defeat against the world champions India to leave the series evenly poised at 1-1 heading into the third match at Harare Sports Club this afternoon.

On Sunday, it was a tale of missed chances, dropped catches and indecisiveness with the bat, which ballooned the margin of defeat as India flexed their muscles in ruthless fashion. Raza believes the extent of damage would have been minimal had the side been more clinical.

India batted first in the second T20I on Sunday after Saturday’s 13-run defeat against the hosts and put up a commanding 234 runs for the loss of two wickets buoyed by Abhishek Sharma’s 47-ball 100, Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 77, Rinku Singh’s 48.

“Let’s not forget that these were the same boys that won us a game as well on Saturday. So, I want to show that faith, selectors want to show that faith, the board wants to show that faith as well, so I think we’re all on the same page in that,” Raza said.

“Listen, this is not a series where we want to just hand out debut caps. We’ve been on this route before in the past, where debut caps were given like candies. So you still have to earn your debut cap, I mean playing for your country should mean a lot. A lot of boys have worked hard.”

Added Raza: “Also don’t forget if you’re handing in a debut cap to somebody, that means somebody is missing out who is doing well or who has earned his right.

“Also, it sends a bad message in the changing room that if you have one bad game and suddenly there’s a whole lot of changes that’s been made, then everybody is on the edge that if I have a bad game or if a debutant has a bad game, then how many games am I going to get.

“So the best thing for us as a group, which of course the coaches, myself and the selectors can do, is to keep showing faith in the same guys and hopefully they will turn up.”

Raza said if the selectors do not have faith in the team, the least they could do is consider that the players have had a longer run.

He said the selectors can also put into consideration the areas they need to work on “to get better because we have a small pool of players and we have to look after everybody that we have”.

“And as a leader, I always say that I have the best interest of every player at heart equally. As a captain, no one is more closer to me than the other.”

Zimbabwe are on a rebuilding phase under new gaffer Justin Sammons and his technical team, which Raza was quick to remind people about during Sunday’s post-match interview.

“For me, I wouldn’t say negative. The only thing to work on is when you give them chances in the field, especially when you have a good batting track ahead of you,” he said.

“We dropped a few catches and that sort of hurt us every time we dropped a catch. If there was something to work on, I think if our catching was a bit better, as it was in the first game, this would have been a closer game than it is right now.

“But a lot of positives, a lot of mistakes our youngsters have made have been due to lack of experience and not so much to do with the skills, so that’s a lot of positives as well.”

Added Raza: “As they play, as they continue to find their feet in international cricket, they learn, we all have been there. So I am happy and very positive about how we went about our business.

“The scorecard may not say that, but certainly a lot of good intent we showed, something that was missing in the past. If you do simple things better I think the result will look after itself. For you guys I know the result matters a lot, for us the process matters a lot, so we have seen them and they have seen us.”

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