ZIMBABWE coach Andy Waller said his players were excited to be playing against a team of India’s stature.
He braces for his first assignment since taking over as head coach of the team in May.
Waller, who took over from Englishman Alan Butcher, was, however, realistic about his team’s chances against an in-form Indian side that recently won the ICC Champions Trophy in England and the three-nation series that involved Sri Lanka, in the West Indies.
“The guys are hugely excited about this series. It’s a great experience for them and we have been preparing knowing that the best side in the world is coming. I think the guys are up to it. Hopefully, I think all the hard work we have put in over the past nine weeks is going to pay off.
“All along when we were preparing, we felt that we might surprise them in one of the games. Look, we have to be realistic. As long as we are competitive and do the best we can, we will be satisfied,” Waller said after the team’s afternoon session.
Waller backed his batsmen to bounce back from a disappointing display during last week’s three-day match against Australia A.
“We are not shaken at all about the batting perfomance against Australia A. As you saw, it was quite a difficult wicket.
I think the guys are actually positive about it because they were a good bowling side and we know it’s a lot harder batting at the wicket there (Country Club) than at Harare Sports Club.”
The Indian cricket team stars yesterday held their first training session on Zimbabwean soil ahead of their five-match one-day international series which starts at Harare Sports Club tomorrow.
It was a home coming for Zimbabwe-born coaches Duncan Fletcher, the Indians’ head coach and Trevor Penny, who is the subcontinent side’s fielding coach, oversaw their team’s training session at the match venue.
The Virat Kohli-captained Indian side are expected to speak to the local media for the first time at the pre-match Press conference today.
Indian Squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Parvez Rasool, Mohammed Shami, Vinay Kumar, Jaidev Unadkat and Mohit Sharma.
Zimbabwe squad: Brendan Taylor (Capt&wk), Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chatara, Michael Chinouya, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Natsai M’shangwe, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Vusi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams, Ray Price