Innocent Kaia Says a Series Win Against India Will Help Boost Zimbabwean Cricket

Innocent shared his thoughts about facing India in the ODI series in Harare in an exclusive chat with The Quint.

4 min read
Hindi Female
Edited By :Garima Sadhwani

Zimbabwe cricketer Innocent Kaia reckons that a series win against India will be a major confidence booster for his country going forward.

The 30-year-old batter grabbed the headlines recently as he was part of the Zimbabwe team that beat Bangladesh 2-1 in the ODI series. He played a crucial knock of 110 in the ODI series opener at Harare earlier this month, helping Zimbabwe register a win.

This was the Zimbabwean's maiden ODI century, having made his national team debut just two months back.

Kaia was, in fact, Zimbabwe’s second-highest run scorer in the series behind teammate Sikandar Raza. Kaia scored 127 runs in three matches at an average of 42.33 while Raza looked in fine form, making 252 runs (three matches) at an impressive average of 84.

High on confidence, following his side’s recent series win against Bangladesh, Kaia shared his thoughts about facing India in the three-match ODI series set to commence from 18 August in Harare in an exclusive chat with The Quint.

The right-handed batter admitted that in terms of cricketing magnitude, it would be a very big series for Zimbabwe, and a win would do a world of good for them.

“We are happy that we are hosting India because it’s a big nation. For us, it’s a big series. We are looking forward to winning the series because it would be a good tournament for the nation. It shows that overall, we are playing good cricket and we can't wait to start,” Kaia said.


Kaia’s words also reflect a side that has a lot of self-belief and wants to prove itself at the top. Zimbabwe’s displays in recent times are a testament to this.

Just last month, Zimbabwe secured qualification for this year’s ICC men’s T20 World Cup by defeating the Netherlands in the final of the Global Qualifiers.

However, Netherlands also qualified by virtue of being the second-best team. The top two teams from each of the two Global Qualifiers group earn qualification. The two teams from the other group that qualified are UAE and Ireland.

Though Zimbabwe has only won two of their last five ODIs, this included a series win against Bangladesh which certainly might have boosted their confidence.

India, on the other hand, is in superb form, winning four of the last five encounters. The most recent of it being a dominating 3-0 series win over West Indies.

Meanwhile, the series against India is an important one for Zimbabwe as these matches are part of the ODI Super League and securing a few points will help them in their qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.

Speaking on the importance of the series, Kaia, who is nicknamed 'Trigger,' did not mince his words and admitted how much winning against India meant to his nation.

“It is going to be a huge one for us because we are playing against India. Top nation in terms of cricket. If we win against India, it would be a major boost for us going forward,” Kaia explained.

Top stars such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah are not part of the travelling squad. Instead, India has sent a second-string side, one with plenty of experience and depth in it.

The side will be led by batter KL Rahul, who is making a comeback after a few months of injury and Covid-19-related complications. The experienced Shikhar Dhawan will act as his deputy.

Despite many top players sitting out, Kaia understands the strength of the visiting side and is not ready to take anything lightly.

When asked if there was any Indian player his team would focus on, the Zimbabwean replied, “I can just say everyone within the team. We are looking forward to playing against everyone.”

Regarding areas where he felt his team needed improvement, Kaia is of the opinion that Zimbabwe has been improving overall, especially in the batting department.

“Our strengths at the moment, I can just say, both bowling and batting. We are bowling well. I can't say we are bowling that well. In terms of batting, I think we are batting very well. We can chase down any score. That’s all I can say.”


Zimbabwe indeed surprised everyone by chasing a mammoth 304 total with five wickets and 10 balls to spare in their first ODI against Bangladesh, where Kaia himself scored a century alongside Raza (135 not out).

The Zimbabwean also heaped praise on his teammate Raza, who has been their side’s best batter in recent times. Innocent cheekily stated that India should focus on his 36-year-old teammate when the two sides face one another.

“Maybe Sikandar Raza. He has been scoring runs,” he concluded with a smile. The first ODI will be played on 18 August, followed by the other two on 20 and 22 August.


Watch the LIVE coverage of India tour of Zimbabwe 2022 on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels at 12:45 pm from 18th August 2022.

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