'If India can stop him from…': Ex-Zimbabwe captain explains how Rahul and Co. can 'contain ' Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza

Updated on Aug 16, 2022 05:47 PM IST

With India set to face Zimbabwe in a three-match ODI series, Dirk Viljoen has an advice for Indian bowlers on how to face Pakistan-born batter Sikandar Raza.

Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza celebrates after scoring a century.(AFP)
Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza celebrates after scoring a century.(AFP)
ByNeelav Chakravarti

With India set to face Zimbabwe in a three-match ODI series, the home fans in Harare will have their eyes on Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza. Born in Sialkot, Raza has represented Zimbabwe in 17 Tests, 117 ODIs and 58 T20Is in his nine-year-long international career and has been a prolific run-scorer in white-ball cricket for them. For India to perform according to the script, the bowlers will need to operate well against the 36-year-old. To negate Raza’s threat, former Zimbabwe captain Dirk Viljoen has come up with a solution for the Indian bowlers.

Speaking to Hindustan Times during a brief interaction, he said, "I think that one thing Sikandar Raza likes to do is, he's an aggressive player. He loves to play shots and more importantly likes to score. I think for India, if they can stop him from scoring and put him under pressure, that will assist him. He carries a lot of weight on his shoulders. We've been in this little meeting for 5 minutes and everyone is talking about Sikandar Raza, so that's going to add pressure on him as well. He will carry that weight on his shoulders because not only his team, himself along with the public and the general population of Zimbabwe will be calling out for Sikandar Raza to perform. That'll play into India's hands."

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"All of a sudden you are playing really well, you decide to change a shot, you get yourself out. If India can contain him, get him to the other side, bowl at the other batters and put him under pressure. That way is to force him to make a mistake", he further added.

With KL Rahul leading Team India, the first ODI will be held in Harare Sports Club on Thursday, followed by the second ODI on Saturday and third ODI on Monday. Wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson, who missed out on India’s Asia Cup 2022 squad despite being in good form, will also be the cynosure of all eyes.

Watch the LIVE coverage of India tour of Zimbabwe 2022 on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels at 12:45 pm from 18th August 2022.

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