The Harare-born Taylor is easily the most valuable player in the Zimbabwean team featuring in the World Cup and is hoping to once again make his presence felt in the Pool A game against Pakistan here at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday (tomorrow).Taylor, 25, who hit an impressive 80 off 72 balls in a 139-run loss against Sri Lanka here last Thursday, said that Zimbabwe will try their best for an upset win against Pakistan.
“The mood in the camp is always positive,” he told reporters here at Pallekele on Saturday. “We have put that performance against Sri Lanka behind us and look forward to what it is a very big challenge on Monday. We have to put in a good performance and who knows may be a win,” he added.Taylor admitted that his team was wary of Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain who has taken 15 wickets in his team’s last four World Cup matches. “I think their bowling is going to be more of a threat, to be honest. We know they have got some capable strikers like Afridi,” he said.
“I don’t think we want to give any wickets to Afridi because the team knows how dangerous he can be when he gets early wickets. If we get 35, 40 runs off his 10 overs without any wickets, I reckon we will take that. They have a quality bowling attack but we if we occupy the crease and show some a bit of intensity to the approach, there is no reason why we can’t post a good total against Pakistan.”
Taylor, who has scored 3382 runs from 11 One-day International appearances, said that he expects Pakistan to be in an aggressive mode after losing to New Zealand by 110-runs in their last game.
“They are a good all-round team and we know they are going to be up for it after their performance against New Zealand. It is big challenge for us.”
Taylor and his teammates watched Zimbabwe record a stunning win over England the other night and the opener said that it has inspired his side.
“Absolutely, we are inspired their victory. We know this is must-win game but at the same time it is a serious challenge for us to play against Pakistan. We have got to believe we can win otherwise it is pointless going out there,” he said.