Bangladesh will want to forget the latest Zimbabwe series quickly. The disastrous performance in both the ODIs and T20Is led to losing both series.
The Tigers should move on quickly from this and look forward to improving themselves. However, to improve, they must not forget one thing - the batting lessons that Sikandar Raza gave throughout the series.
It’s hands down to Zimbabwe for playing well and defeating Bangladesh, especially in the ODIs where Bangladesh are a commendable side. Yet, one player who stood out and made the difference was Sikandar Raza.
In the 1st T20I, he came to bat at No. 5. The score for Zimbabwe was 99-3 at 12.2 overs. A big score could be sensed here and he sensed it well.
He went to all guns blazing mode and scored 65 off 26 balls. In the end, Zimbabwe totalled 205 runs, a score that took them over the line comfortably.
In the next game, he came to bat at No. 4. This time the scenario was quite different. Zimbabwe were 5-2 within the 1st over and saw his team cornered at 31-5 soon.
This time Zimbabwe only needed something for the bowlers to fight for. Sikandar Raza once again was on spot scoring 62 off 53. Zimbabwe could settle on a score of 135, which was looking far-fetched at a point.
Moving on to the ODIs, Raza came to bat at No. 5 in the 1st match. His team was 66-3 at 14th over chasing a target of 304.
They needed to score quickly and Raza did so, scoring a brilliant knock of 135(109) and taking Zimbabwe home. The noticeable thing is that he scored 68 from boundaries and 67 from rotating the strike.
Also, his partner Kaia played an anchoring innings of 110(122). So, he took responsibility for scoring quickly.
In the 2nd ODI, Raza again batted at No. 5. This time chasing a smaller total but in a more precarious situation. His side was down to 49-4 at the 15th over chasing 292.
He needed to make sure that they score quickly and not let wickets fall as well. Raza stood firmly at one end and scored 117 (127), scoring 56 from boundaries and 61 from rotating the strike.
As Regis Chakabva was playing the accelerator role (scored 102 off 75 balls), Raza decided to be the anchor here.
These match situations and his scoring dynamics make it clear that Raza can read the situation and change his game style as needed. He became the accelerator, finisher, and anchor all within the same series.
He let his partners play freely. It is his flexibility that helped Zimbabwe win the games. Bangladeshi batters can take note of these.