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'Want Him To Lead From The Front' - ZIM Coach Issues 'Sikandar Raza' Warning For Gill And India

A file photo of India vs Zimbabwe (X.com)A file photo of India vs Zimbabwe (X.com)

Zimbabwe's head coach Justin Sammons believes that Sikandar Raza's vast experience of playing in various T20 leagues would certainly come in handy for an inexperienced Zimbabwe. 

He also added that they would like to punch above its weight against a talented Indian side full of IPL performers, ahead of five-match series.

"I think we're very fortunate to have a player like Sikandar Raza leading the side. He brings great experience, We want him to lead from the front. He's been superb in the changing room and taking the players under his wing. We want his bat to do the talking. as well as his bowling," Sammons told PTI in an exclusive interview.

Over the years, Indian selectors have always rested its top players during the summer months when the team tours the African nation where a five-match T20I series' broadcast rights helps in keeping the host country's cricket board in good health and best of spirits.

Even then three players from the T20 World Cup winning squad -- Shivam Dube, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson are expected to be available from the third game of the series and all four stand bys, including skipper Shubman Gill are part of the set-up, taking the count up to seven.

“This is an opportunity for this team to do that and to showcase their skills against the best and obviously to get an understanding of where they're at,” he said.

Sammons said that his focus is on the future and he wants to build a good team in next two years with players improving their game awareness and also honing their skills adequately for the elite level.

“I don't want to dwell on what's happened in the past, but what I want to do is obviously focus on the future. We've created a clear vision in terms of where this team wants to go within the next two or three years…We're encouraging players to continually want to up-skill and improve. And they know they're going to be taken out of their comfort zone in doing that,” he added.

The much awaited India tour of Zimbabwe is set to kick off on Saturday, 6 June with the first T20I game slated to take place at Harare Sports Club.