Team Nepal look to script cricket history in Zimbabwe

Nepal will require a herculean collective effort from start to finish to turn the tide in their favor during 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

Topics mentioned in this article
Topics mentioned in this article

Currently the Men’s national cricket team of Nepal is on a spectacular and stunning winning streak.

They have won 13 of their last 14 one-day International(ODI) matches. Their hard work and perseverance paved the way for them to take part in two high profile tournaments-ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and Asia Cup in India.

When everything had seemed doom and gloom, Team Nepal crawled back from the jaws of elimination to advance to the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

As they gear up for the Zimbabwe challenge, the million dollar question now is whether they can continue their winning ways and consistency.

The ten teams competing in the high stake round-robin format, followed by the knockout stage are locked in a grim battle for two qualification spots for the final event in India later this year.

The best three teams each from Group A and Group B advance to the Super Six knockout stage with the winners and runners-up taking the remaining last two slots.

The Zimbabwe Qualifier is a whole different ball game at a different level. Undoubtedly, Nepal is in a tough group alongside hosts Zimbabwe, the West Indies, the Netherlands and the United States.

They are up against formidable opponents in the likes of the West Indies, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands.

Furthermore, they are playing away from home in uncharted territory. In my opinion, they go into the tournament carrying the dark horse tag.

A few questions immediately come to my mind:Can they defy the odds? Can they script another Cinderella story? Can they make history?

Barring the West Indies, Nepal has played against the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and the United States and notched up impressive wins in the past.

I will say this, they have the potential to do it. Admittedly, it is a tough challenge, but certainly doable. What is true is that they will require a herculean collective effort from start to finish to turn the tide in their favor

Since the stakes are high, there is absolutely no room for error and lackluster performance. The ability to remain calm and collected and consistently perform under pressure are keys to success.

Although the enormity of the challenge is staggering, however, for Nepal it is another opportunity to step up, another chance to excel, another chance to prove themselves.

What is required of them is that they must be at the top of their game and give their best, plain and simple.

They have to stay totally focused, display insatiable craving for success, recognize and maximize their strengths to optimum effect, seriously dwell-upon their shortcomings and maintain high level of consistency,

The team’s tactical acumen be it bowling or batting or fielding, coupled with the ability to consistently play well will be put to severe test.

Batting has been Nepal’s weakest link for a very long time. Innumerable times matches that should have been won were lost due to poor batting.

The failure with the bat was at an all time high. The batting was ordinary, appalling, depleted, wobbly and woeful. The batters constantly faltered when it came to posting a competitive total and run chase.

The pitch had nothing to do with the batting fiasco. It was a lack of confidence, technique, big match temperament and application on the part of batters.

We are yet to see batters in the caliber of former skipper of Nepal Paras Khadka who retired from international cricket too soon.

Batting revival for Nepal was a must to remain highly competitive in tournaments. Lately we have witnessed an encouraging turnaround in batting.

In the last 13 matches batters have scored runs consistently and posted a total of 200 plus runs on numerous occasions, and succeeded in run chases.

It is very important that they keep the momentum and winning streak going.

They have to score runs and let the bat do the talking throughout. Sustainability is critical for batting success.

Batting must click no matter what. The batters are up against quality bowling opponents in Zimbabwe. They will require a solid consistent performance tactically, technically and mentally.

The batting lineup is studded with young talents. The pack spearheaded by skipper Rohit Paudel has the potential to succeed at the top level. They must remain one hundred percent focused, committed, make the most of opportunities and give their best.

Nepal’s batting success will largely depend on the form and performance of highly talented young guns skipper Paudel, Kushal Malla and Bhim Sharki.

The bowling department has been Nepal’s strength for the most part. However, when the team was going through a lean phase, even the bowling was not upto the standard and the overall performance was much below par.

It is imperative that bowlers maintain a high level of confidence, consistency, accuracy and competitiveness.

As per reports, outfield pitch in Zimbabwe is batter friendly and the bouncy surface favors pacers more than spinners.

Although the team lacks genuine fast bowlers, experienced medium-pacers Karan KC and Sompal Kami carry the responsibility to deliver the goods.

They have the company of 17-year-old sensational speedster Gulshan Jha who has made a name for himself for his outstanding performance.

One player the team relies most on is no other than controversial star leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. He is truly a match-winner and difference-maker. He has to turn in a superb performance.

Team Nepal must stand tall, possess a winning mentality and convince themselves that they can beat the very best in the field.

We have seen the national team’s reversal of fortunes under the newly appointed head coach Monty Desai.

He took over the team that was poorly performing, mightily struggling and turning it around.

The coach is fully aware of challenges his team faces in Zimbabwe. He has no magic wand but certainly does have a well sorted out game plan and strategies in place.

I expect him to leave no stones left unturned when it comes to motivating and convincing players to perform at optimum levels.

In addition, striking a balance in team selection with the right players based on needs, opponents strengths and weaknesses, coupled with the team’s strategic ploys is very important.

When all is said and done, the highly motivated, highly disciplined, well prepared and skilled players are key to the team’s success at the end of the day.

Let us hope Nepal beats the odds and comes out triumphant.

Sushil Thapa
Sushil Thapa
Sushil Thapa is a Contributor Writer for and a Nepali Cricket fan from Fairfax, Virginia. He is a sports enthusiast. You can also follow him @sthapa40 on Twitter.



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