| Streak feels it’s always a challenge being the underdogs
Cardiff: Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak said Friday his side could learn from the example of in-form South Africa batsman Jacques Kallis.
South Africa and Zimbabwe face each other in another tri-series match here on Saturday with Kallis, who knows Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens ground well from his time with Glamorgan, in supreme form.
Kallis currently has a tournament average of 314 after his unbeaten 82 guided South Africa to a seven-wicket win over England at Old Trafford on Thursday. “He doesn’t give his wicket away, he’s tight and he scores runs all round the wicket,” fast bowler Streak said of Kallis.
“He’s accumulated and timed his innings really well. What he’s done, he’s accumulated, he’s got to a certain stage, then freed the arms without taking too many risks early on,” added Streak on Friday.
“He’s a good example to batters. He gets in and he stays in and that’s what you need to win games.”
But Streak said Grant Flower, who made an unbeaten 96 in Zimbabwe’s four wicket win over England at Trent Bridge on June 26, had it in him to play another match-winning innings. “He didn’t get off to a flyer but once he was in and got the pace of the wicket, converted, gave himself a chance and that’s what you need your batters to do.”
Zimbabwe, who have a slight fitness doubt over allrounder Andy Blignaut (hamstring), are currently two points behind leaders South Africa and a point shy of England, who have played four games to the African duo’s three. This weekend Zimbabwe, like South Africa last week, must play back-to-back matches, with a fixture against England at Bristol on Sunday.
England, by contrast, do not have any back-to-back matches and Streak said: “It’s something the ICC (International Cricket Council) have been asked to avoid. From our side, it’s just a thing of fairness.
“South Africa and Zimbabwe both have back-to-back games. England don’t. We don’t have a problem with that as long as all teams have the same schedule. And Streak said his men were not that far away from South Africa, despite a 46-run defeat against the Proteas at Canterbury on Sunday.
“For us it’s always a challenge, being the underdogs. We don’t have a lot of first-class cricketers. We’ve got to learn faster than other people and that’s just the way things are.”