The success in one-day series in Sri Lanka has bought great deal of confidence for Zimbabwe team. Now they are on the verge of winning a historic test match in Sri Lanka.
They are defending a 388 runs in approximate 138 overs(9 hours). They have in-experienced bowling attack who are defending in unfamiliar condition.
However the best way for bowlers to gain experience is to defend – and when you have a healthy target of 388, then it can be worked out to your advantage.
One was surprised to see them not using seam bowling in the 48 overs of Sri Lanka’s second innings. There is always something for pacers with a new ball. End of day 4 the host were 170/3 of 48 overs of spin(part-timer and regular) with only one maiden over bowled!.
When you have an inexperienced bowling attack -the best way to gain experience(unless the weather/surface is skewed) is to bowl second and defend a target. Once the target is defined(irrespective of high or low scores) a bowler will experience how to constrain/focus himself to bowl – will find out what works for him to economise the run-rate and apply pressure.
One hopes that they start the last day with seam bowling – If there is any variable in bounce or speed than fast bowlers can exploit it by bowling accurately – applying pressure by bowling maiden overs, setting a field that does not allow easy runs and block boundary zones.
Type of dismissals in the 4th inning /last day of test match in Sri Lanka can define tactics for Zimbabwe, and based on this if they can strategies a plan for their bowlers than they will be on right track. One of those tactics would be to bowl lower and fuller trajectories(for spinners). Their pacers would have a different role-play -viz bowl accurately with constant variation!.
Their bowler’s execution would require patience and acumen, and that will only help them create history.
On the other hand, Sri Lankans would be vary of day 5 pitch and as the target is reduced they would be cautious to chase down rest of the runs. They would require one of their overnight batsman to bat till the end of match.