Both matches are must-win for us in Tri-Nation Series, Says Sean Williams
Sean Williams understands how crucial the tri-nation series is in Bangladesh to get Zimbabwe back to normal after tumultuous weeks of events that have occurred off the field. Zimbabwe suspended by the ICC in July, causing T20 World Cup ratings, and caused further unrest within the junta and the team.
“We’ve learned a lot from what we’ve been through,” Williams said after Zimbabwe’s net session before his match against Bangladesh on Wednesday. “You can see the team starting to join more and more and coming together more like a unit”.
Zimbabwe has lost both Tri-nation series matches, suffering a narrow three-wicket victory against Bangladesh in the first match of the series before losing to Afghanistan by seven wickets. For Zimbabwe to hope for the final, they have to beat Bangladesh on Wednesday and then Afghanistan on Friday.
Both games are games that we have to win for ourselves, Williams said
If we do the basics correctly, that’s our field, you know there are good margins in this game, and if we can improve in those areas, we have a good chance of winning both games. If we can make better decisions on the field more often, I think we have a good chance of moving forward.
Like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh is seeking some retribution. After failing to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, Bangladesh was laundered 0-3 in Sri Lanka and suffered a shocking 224-stroke loss at the hands of Afghanistan in the One Test. That said, Williams doesn’t make the mistake of taking his opponents lightly.
They’re under pressure, and we know that, says Williams said. But again, he does the right thing to do again. Bangladesh is a reliable team, in general. They have a perfect structure, reaching the levels of the club. T20 cricket can go in any direction. They’re good margins.
“They have some outstanding players and some experienced activists: Shakib, Mahmudullah, Mushy [Mushfiqur Rahim]. They’re all outstanding players, and we respect that fact. There’s no game we can take lightly. We want to go out, focus on our things and do what required for our team. If we focus on what we have to do, everything will solve on its own.”
Zimbabwe also has its share of senior professionals. The likes of Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza and Williams, have been in the country several times, including for their tints in the Bangladesh Premier League. With Zimbabwe looking to the future, Williams explained that top-level players needed to step up to send a positive message to young people.
“We give much information to the junior boys. It’s how they assimilate it, what we do as older players are important as the backbone of the team, to teach them for the future. Lately, some of us have underperformed, so we need to step up as a senior group and get the juniors to follow. We’ve been out of trouble twice now. If older people can step up and get it right, Craig [Ervine], Brendan is showing very good-shaped signs. So if we can take a step forward, we’ll have a perfect chance.”
With Masakadza ready to retire after the series, Williams will lead Zimbabwe, which, by the way, is another T20I tri-series with Singapore and Nepal. With a good number of youngsters on the team, Williams is eager to play alongside them.
“Before the Singapore series, with some younger boys joining the team and a couple of older guys going to Singapore, it’s going to be exciting,” he said. “I hope those junior boys upgrade. They are already showing signs that some of them could be world-class players. I wish you all the best, and hopefully, we can see them go all the way.”