Zim outplayed, fairly successful in the Caribbean

ZIMBABWE lost 0-5 to West Indies in their recent seven-match one-day international series in the Caribbean, with two of the matches abandoned due to rain.

The performance of Zimbabwe during the tour has drawn different viewpoints.

The divergence in the review comments

is made sharper by Zimbabwe’s win in a tri-nations limited-overs series involving Associate sides Canada and Bermuda.

It remains to be seen if some analysts are just failing to see the future, or if the others are not being honest with themselves.

IndependentSport reporter ENOCK MUCHINJO asked cricket personalities their views about the ODI series and the triangular tournament. The following are excerpts of what they said:

Kevin Curran, Zimbabwe coach: Overall it was fairly successful. We were competitive, which was basically the idea when we went there, especially with a young team like ours.

The idea was for guys to be exposed to international cricket and learn, which was what happened.

They all came back better players.

Our competitiveness showed in one of the ODIs when we were 73/2 and had 30 overs to get 180 runs.

It rained but we had not reached a stage to use the Duckworth-Lewis. Had it not rained it would have been down to 20 overs. It would have given us a result.

Brian Lara said we would have won it.
 
It shows that the guys were not just competitive but could have also won.

In the triangular series the guys took the confidence into the matches.
 
It showed when we beat them comprehensively.

People were saying we were on the same level with the Associate sides, but we showed that we are on different levels. Yes we were expected to win the triangular series, but you still had to go out and do it.

Dean du Plessis, commentator: To be honest the series went much according to plan for
the West Indies. We were outplayed in the ODIs.

The most positive thing that came out was that we managed to find consistency in Chamu Chibhabha batting at number three.

He showed consistency not seen in the Zimbabwe batting line-up in a long time.

But as for the others, I think Curran needs to change his approach and do away with the belief that top-order batsmen need to settle before they get into their rhythm, because they never got to do that.

(Terrence) Duffin’s batting was so slow and it’s not acceptable. You have to set an example as a captain by being positive. Piet Rinke showed that he has no idea of playing genuine pace bowling.

We need to have genuine pace in our side as well so that batsmen get good practice. I believe you are halfway to winning if you have quality pace bowling.

I also want to credit Tawanda Mupariwa and Prosper Utseya for bowling ever so well.

But to be honest, for Zimbabwe as an ODI side it is pointless experience to play against the likes of Bermuda and Canada. There is no way it can test or improve your skills.

By playing these sides you achieve nothing.

Blessing Mahwire, Zimbabwe pace bowler: I thought against the West Indies there were about three brilliant performances and a couple of average ones.

Personally, I was putting myself under a lot of pressure as a senior player in the team. I should have played the way I know to play.
In the triangular series, I bowled quite well and helped the team to win all the three games. I couldn’t ask for more.

Phil Simmons, former Zimbabwe coach: In the triangular series it was nothing less than expected. No one expected them to get in trouble there.

In the ODIs there were good individual performances but the game plan was nowhere to be seen.

The players seemed to lack guidance.

They came to me when I was in Trinidad to ask for help and I had no problem doing that.

I think the only think that came out of it was that there is talent. When you have 19-year-olds and guys in their early 20s doing well it shows there is talent. It’s the administration that is killing the game.

Crispen Tsvarayi, Zimbabwe Cricket interim board member: Everyone in the West Indies agreed that this is the youngest team to play at the highest level, and they were saying the guys are good.

These comments came from no less than the likes of Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge and Lara himself. Guys who put West Indies cricket on the map.
 
Lara spent time with us and such comments coming from him were encouraging.

Bruce Makovah, national selectors convener: Basically the guys progressed well in the ODI series. But for them to improve we need stiff competition on our domestic scene.

I believe the players picked one or two things in the matches. If you look at the statistics the bowlers did quite well. On the batting, if we had added on 20 or 30 runs anything could have happened.

In the triangular series, to be honest the competition was not strong. It’s difficult to make an assessment.
Richie Kaschula, former national selector:

We performed very poorly. Certainly we did not perform as a Test nation should. If you lose by margins of 100 runs and 10 wickets you are not being competitive, are you?

It’s not the players’ fault. I feel for the players because they had to deal with that embarrassment. It’s not fair on the cricketers.

As for the triangular series, as far as I’m concerned that was a non-event. If we were not expected to win those matches then what are we?

Obviously Bermuda and Canada are not powerhouses. Canada are not even stronger than some of the clubs in Harare. Takashinga will beat Canada.

We have done ourselves more harm than good.

Top