Streak deplores lack of fight

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Zimbabwe’s recently appointed coach Heath Streak could find few positives in his team’s performance in their tri-series opener against Sri Lanka.

The hosts were bowled out for 154 and it took Sri Lanka just 24.3 overs to overhaul the sub par total to defeat Streak’s men by 8 wickets.

Speaking after the match Streak said: “I won’t have too many positives today.

“Your positivity and your mental outlook is affected by your body language and how you’re thinking.

“Yes, you may not feel you’ve got enough runs on the board but it doesn’t stop you going out there and being positive and aggressive and supporting your team-mates. Diving around and getting energy going. You don’t need talent to do that. Those are things that anyone can do.

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“It’s something we talk about a lot, the scoreboard not impacting on your actions and your outlook on what you’re trying to achieve out there. But often it does and for people outside – media, supporters – they see that probably more than the players do inside. It’s certainly something that I’m putting a high priority on addressing.”

The conditions weren’t great for batting with the pitch sporting a green tint and giving the bowlers plenty to work with but Streak highlighted that the Zimbabwe batsman did not get out to exceptionally good balls.

The coach added: “Certainly we had the tougher side of the batting, but when you look back, bar Chari no one really got a ball that they can say was an unplayable delivery.

“Yes, conditions were in their favour, but there were not enough people coming in and saying they got out to a good ball.”

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The conditions could hardly have been better for the Sri Lanka bowlers but Streak refused to use that as an excuse.

He went on: “Having had late rain yesterday, the covers came off late, and we had a bit of drizzle [this morning]. Losing the toss wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t any excuse for how we performed.

“The toss has always been in the game of cricket and that’s not something you can guarantee. If you can only win cricket matches when you win the toss then there’s a serious issue to address.

“For me, today there was an advantage to the toss that would have made it 60-40 in favour of whoever wins the toss, but there are still no excuses for a batting performance like that. PJ Moor and some of the lower order guys like Cremer and Tiripano showed that when you applied yourself there were runs to be scored.”

Streak would take heart from the fact that they still have three more games to turn things around in this series.

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He concluded: “I said to the guys the only positive for me is that we’ve got three more games.

“There weren’t really many other positives. The reality is that we have to bat, bowl and field better than we did today otherwise we’re not going to feature in this series. It’s certainly within their own hands.

“There’s also lots of work for me and the coaching staff to do, but we talk about people taking responsibility and when you say that generally you’re looking at your senior players to do that. They’re going to have to start putting their hands up.”

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