Indore: Like Sri Lanka, England, Bangladesh and now India, Zimbabwe too have decided to hire the services of a foreign coach and they decided to select Australia's former speed merchant Carl Gray Rackemann to coach the side.
Rackemann was indeed an unusual bowler who produced match winning spells and helped the side to be on top along with Geoff Lawson though he had a short career of 14 Test matches.
The former Aussie speedster is keen on his new job and is confident that he will do a world of good to the Zimbabwean team and cricket in general. Soon after Zimbabwe's practice session on the eve of their match against the National Cricket Academy XI, he spoke to a small group of journalists outside of the Zimbabwe dressing room at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The following is an excerpt of the interview:
What do you feel about your new responsibility as the coach of the Zimbabwe team?
I am really very, very excited. I was their bowling coach, but I am now a full fledged coach. I am really happy and delighted to have the job on hand and I am confident of doing well.
What would be your priority?
I would like to mould Zimbabwe into winning unit. I know Zimbabwe are a talented side and I think many times we have lost the matches by very close margins or the lost matches from the winning positions. I would like to work on that and would like to minimise that in future.
What do you think about this full tour of India, the first for Zimbabwe?
I think touring India should be the highlight in anyone's career. I am really excited to be here and we have come with a good positive frame of mind and we are looking forward to this tour.
Have you made any special preparations to play Indian spinners on Indian wickets?
Frankly speaking not really. We will definitely look at the wickets first as far as the Test matches are concerned. But, we did have some wonderful practice and experience of facing Sunil Joshi and Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralitharan in Sharjah recently and I am sure that will come in handy.
Would you subscribe to the view that to beat India in India is a big challenge?
I think any country is difficult to beat on their home ground and wickets. Each country presents different challenges, wickets and atmosphere. I know it will be the case here too but I would be happy if the Board of Control for Cricket in India gave the kind of wicket that we had while practicing here. But, certainly to play India in India is different than playing them in Australia or England.