UAE had a bruising tour of Zimbabwe, where they were blanked 4-0 in the ODI series last week, but captain Mohammad Naveed remained upbeat despite the setbacks.
It was a historic series for the UAE as they were playing their first-ever bilateral ODI series against a full Test nation. However, rain-affected fixtures and tough conditions saw UAE lose all four matches.
In the first ODI in Harare, UAE were shot out for 110, going down by seven wickets, In the second match, Naveed’s team managed 169-9 and the hosts reached the revised target of 182 off the last ball of the innings.
The third ODI was a one-sided affair with Zimbabwe posting 307-4 while UAE could only muster 176. The fourth and final ODI was again a rain-affected clash with UAE dismissed for 175, while Zimbabwe lost seven wickets chasing the revised target of 128.
According to Naveed, heavy rain before the start of the series meant there was excessive moisture in the pitch which gave extra advantage to the team bowling first.
“The first game was basically decided by toss as it had rained for two, three days. They won the toss and bowled first, so the wicket was very difficult. Our batsmen couldn’t adjust in time,” Naveed told Sport360.
“After that, we came back very well in the remaining matches. Our batsmen couldn’t perform well – apart from Shaiman Anwar. We dropped catches as well. We tried to motivate the players, asked the players to learn from the mistakes. But the batsmen played quite badly because of which we lost,” the skipper added.
Naveed said fielding was also below standard but believed the issues are not glaring and was confident of turning things around in a couple of months.
“If you look after the first match, we played well. Overall, our batting and fielding was disappointing,” he added.
“We have a few issues but they aren’t very major. I am sure we can recover in a couple of months. We are working on our mistakes.”
Naveed said the emphasis of the team is not not get bogged down by the defeats as they were playing an established cricket nation.
“Our coaches – especially Dougie Brown – have worked very hard on our game. The players were told to concentrate on the positives and not fear defeat. But unfortunately it didn’t work. I am confident we will cover up in two to three months,” the seamer added.
UAE’s major assignment this year is the 2020 World T20 qualifier which they will host towards the end of the year.
Know more about Sport360 Application