New Zimbabwe boss hopeful of ending losing streak


New head coach Heath Streak believes Zimbabwe are capable of giving Sri Lanka a run for their money in the landmark first Test in Harare.

Former Zimbabwe captain Streak was this month named as successor to the sacked Dav Whatmore and vowed to leave no stone unturned in his quest to make his side more competitive.

Zimbabwe were consigned to a 2-0 home defeat by New Zealand in the longest format and head into their 100th Test, which starts on Saturday on the back of a defeat to Pakistan A.

But Streak is optimistic they give a good account of themselves as they eye a first defeat over Sri Lanka in 16 attempts.

"We've had some really good preparations with the games against Pakistan A, which has given the guys some match practice that was probably lacking in the previous Test series that we had," said the former seamer.

"We saw that as the guys got into the Test series against New Zealand they started playing better, so hopefully this will stand us in good stead.

"It will be a nice stat, being the 100th Test match, and the possibility of the 100th cap is certainly on the cards for tomorrow.

"We've got some young guys who are pushing really hard now so there's some good competition for positions."

Seamer Carl Mumba and batsman Tarisai Musakanda are in contention to make their debuts, while all-rounder Malcolm Waller could be recalled.

Sri Lanka will be captained by Rangana Herath in the absence of the injured Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal.

The tourists whitewashed Australia for the first time in Test cricket back in August and veteran spinner Herath is relishing the opportunity to lead his country for the first time as they aim to kick on.

"Luckily I have played under a lot of captains so I can use that experience in bringing through the youngsters," said the wily left-armer.

"It's been 12 years since we were here, so this is a new challenge and opportunity,

"Hopefully the guys who get the opportunity will play their best. This is a new challenge for me so I'll take the experience very positively."