Rookies captains lead Chevrons, Black Caps
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.