Zimbabwe pace bowler Tendai Chatara says he is ready to bring his best game against Bangladesh in the forthcoming series.
The 30-year-old seamer is coming from a year blighted by injuries, with a recurring bicep injury side-lining him for some months.
In an interview with ZTN, Chatara who is expected to lead the Zimbabwe attack following Kyle Jarvis’ retirement, said he is fit and fine.
“The recent A side series against South Africa A was a good test and measure of my fitness and I am glad I finished unscathed,” said Chatara.
“As a bowler it gives you confidence and I can say I am close to being at my best now. “I am confident by the time we play Bangladesh I will be in good nick,” he said.
Zimbabwe is set to host Bangladesh for a solitary Test, three ODIs and as many T20 internationals between July 7 and 27 at Harare Sports Club. It is Bangladesh’s first tour of Zimbabwe since 2013.
The last time Bangladesh visited, Chatara was still a freshman in international cricket.
“Back then I was a rookie fresh from under 19 cricket, it was nice to learn from guys like Tinashe Panyangara, Elton (Chigumbura) was still bowling at that time and we also had Shingi Masakadza.
“I am a senior now and I am quite excited with our attack with Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Donnie (Tiripano), Victor (Nyauchi), it’s a balance of experience and youth and as a group there is good energy.”
The ODI series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh is part of the ICC Super League, but there is more motivation for Chatara who is on the brink of making history.
He is on course to become the fastest Zimbabwean bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets.
Chatara has picked 95 wickets in 70 matches and if he gets to 100 in his next match he would have reached a milestone faster than greats including South Africa’s Dale Steyn (72), New Zealander Richard Hadlee who also got there in 72 matches, Pakistan’s Wasim Akram (74), England’s Ian Botham (75), and Australia’s Glenn McGrath (77) among many cricketing names.
In Zimbabwe Cricket history only Heath Streak (237 wickets), Prosper Utseya (133), Graeme Cremer (119), Grant Flower (104) and Ray Price (100) have reached the 100-wicket mark.
For Chatara to reach the 100 ODI-wicket mark in his next match, it means he would have picked his first five-for.
“How nice will it be to reach that milestone with my first ODI fiver, moreso at home,” said Chatara.
“We obviously don’t go into a match chasing records but simply to do well for the team, but naturally this is an extra motivation, the Super League which is a World Cup qualifying route as well as the personal milestone, definitely exciting times.”