Rook­ies cap­tains lead Chevrons, Black Caps

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here - Bon­gani Ndlovu Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

TWO first time cap­tains will to­day lead Zim­babwe and New Zealand in the first Test match at Queens Sports Club in Bu­l­awayo.

New Zealand cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson was part of the side that played Zim­babwe in the pre­vi­ous Test game be­tween the two na­tions in 2011, while Graeme Cre­mer will be fac­ing the Black Caps for the first time.

Zim­babwe nar­rowly lost by 34 runs on the fi­nal day of the 2011 Test and both cap­tains are brac­ing for a tough en­counter.

Cre­mer said he was ex­cited to lead Zim­babwe for the first time in his ca­reer, de­scrib­ing the feat as an hon­our.

“The feel­ing is great and I’m hon­oured, and I want to make my coun­try proud. There are only a cou­ple of guys who played the last time and I know we came close to ac­tu­ally win­ning that Test match. A few guys will re­mem­ber that feel­ing and know it’s not im­pos­si­ble to put them un­der pres­sure and to do well,” said Cre­mer.

He said his charges were rar­ing to go de­spite hav­ing not played Test cricket in a long time.

“We’re ob­vi­ously a bit short on game time, but have a few guys that played against South Africa A and New Zealand in the three-day game. It’s more of a mind­set change than ac­tual skill change from the white ball to the red ball. Guys are hun­gry to get out there and show what they can do be­cause they haven’t played for a long time,” said Cre­mer.

Wil­liamson also sounded buoy­ant about lead­ing New Zealand onto the Queens Sports Club pitch this morn­ing.

“We’ve been in tune with prepa­ra­tion that I haven’t thought a huge amount about it. It’s an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity and ob­vi­ously I’m priv­i­leged to get the op­por­tu­nity. We played so much T20 cricket and one­day cricket and was for­tu­nate to lead the side in those for­mats. It’s nice to walk out for my first Test match to­mor­row and to lead the team in that for­mat,” said Wil­liamson.

He said they would ap­proach the game with cau­tion and pa­tience, at­tack­ing and de­fend­ing with both bat and ball.

“We would like to (at­tack) and that’s what we’ll cer­tainly try to do with bat and ball. At the same time, pa­tience and look­ing at how to skin it (ap­proach the game) is the chal­lenge I sup­pose. How at­tack­ing looks on some of th­ese sur­faces might not be four slips and two in the gully, and you might want to tar­get dif­fer­ent ar­eas you want to limit scor­ing.

“If you have an op­por­tu­nity to take a wicket, then get an­other cou­ple. But it doesn’t hap­pen too quickly on this sort of sur­face and both teams have to be smart at it. Zim­babwe know th­ese con­di­tions bet­ter than any­one around and we are ex­pect­ing a tough chal­lenge, like that (pre­vi­ous) Test match, it could’ve gone ei­ther way up un­til the last overs. It was an ex­cit­ing game and no doubt it’ll be an­other hard fought match,” Wil­liamson said.

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