All eyes will be on the men’s national cricket team of Nepal as they gear up for the opener against hosts Zimbabwe in the ICC World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe on June 18th.
Overcoming adversity and challenge, Nepal made a sensational and phenomenal turnaround to advance to the final qualifying round.
Team Nepal faces a challenge far greater in Zimbabwe. With the best three teams from each group advancing to the round of the super six, the competition is expected to be intense and grueling.
They are left with no choice but to step up, display grit, passion, and confidence and play to their full potential to get back into the win column.
They are up against much stronger opponents in the likes of West Indies, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands. Even the United States cannot be underestimated.
Nepal must continue its hot streak in Zimbabwe and prove themselves by getting the better of formidable opposition if they hope to make history.
With the opener against Zimbabwe knocking on the door, once again there is a sense of concern over Nepal’s batting frailty.
If we take into account the team’s abysmal batting performance in the two practice matches against Scotland and the Netherlands played in South Africa, there is plenty to worry about and become skeptical about their qualifying chances.
In both matches, Nepal’s batting lineup was badly exposed. They could only manage to score a paltry 135 and 156 runs against Scotland and the Netherlands respectively.
The batting line-up fell well short. The batters were guilty of throwing away their wickets cheaply instead of making efforts to settle in.
They failed individually and collectively when it came to anchoring the innings and building partnerships. They must get back to basics.
Clearly, it was a lack of skills, focus, application, patience, right techniques and match temperament to perform in competitive wickets on the part of batters.
Team Nepal must go back to the drawing room to address the batting inconsistency and vulnerability to turn things around.
The batters need to self-evaluate their performance. It is all about learning and growing through mistakes.
The young players must learn to perform in stressful and under-pressure situations. They have to come together and work out a plan to get things moving in the right direction.
Although Nepal put in an improved batting performance against the United Arab Emirates in the first warm-up match, which they lost, in Zimbabwe, consistency and solid batting performance are keys to batting success on the batting-friendly pitches in Zimbabwe.
The bouncy pitch tends to favor pacers more than spinners. However, the bowling attack is thin and lacks pace and pacers.
Experienced duo Sompal Kami and Karan KC and newcomer Gulshan Jha will have to carry extra workload and stretch themselves.
If spinners are able to extract turn from the pitch, then that would be a different ball game. Of course, leg-break googly star Sandeep Lamichhane remains Nepal’s trump card.
With three straight defeats prior to the start of the competition, the prospects are far from rosy and the challenge has become bigger for Nepal.
Head coach Monty Desai was the batting coach of Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and the West Indies. He is the right person to deal with the chinks in his team’s batting armor.
At the end of the day the team as well as individuals have to perform at their best to be successful.