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Zimbabwe : Team Analysis : World Cup


 11 Days to World Cup 2015

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Zimbabwe : Team Analysis

World Cup 2015 CountdownIf someone wants to pick out one cricket team which has seen the worst of circumstances over the last fifteen years, it has to be Zimbabwe. They had a very promising and talented team in the early 2000s and when they looked set to enter the top tier of world cricket, the political influence broke the team into pieces. The damage was too bad to be repaired. 

The revival was attempted, many a times. But, it faced too many insurmountable obstacles at the outset and the much-awaited revival didn’t happen. Some useful players with limited talent came through, by virtue of sheer determination and perhaps because there were no immediate challengers for their positions. In the long run, one can hope that they will deliver consistently. The World Cup is going to be a very important tournament for Zimbabwe. No one expects them to win or to book a place in the semi-finals. They themselves know that. They are in a stage where being competitive is the priority for them. Results are secondary, at least against the big teams.  

Elton Chigumbura is a handy all-rounder and is not the worst leader around. Hamilton Masakadza will be the man to look out for. He made his debut a good fourteen years ago and yet this is the first time he has been selected in a World Cup squad. He always had the talent. He always lacked the temperament. This is the tournament where he can prove the previous sentence wrong. Stuart Matsikenyeri and Chamu Chibhabha have been included in the squad. Zimbabwe have gone for experience and it is not at all a bad idea. 

Prosper Utseya too has been included in the squad, despite the fact that he won’t be able to bowl off-breaks. But, apparently, Propser has prospered enough with his cutters and seam-up balls to merit selection. The spin department will be led by the leggie Tafadzwa Kamungozi and he will receive able assistance from the likes of Sean Williams, Matsikenyeri and Sikandar Raza. 

In the fast bowling department, Brian Vitori’s exclusion has been the talking point but, to be fair to the selectors, he didn’t offer anything special in recent times in order to ensure a selection. Tinashe Panyangara and Tendai Chatara will in all probability be the opening bowlers. Zimbabwe have recalled Twanada Mupariwa, who has made a comeback after five years. 

The side looks to be a balanced one and there’s no denying the fact that the selectors couldn’t have done better. They have gambled with Utseya but it is a gamble worth taking. 
We have so far not mentioned the name of the man who can really make a difference for the Zimbabweans- Brendan Taylor. Taylor needs to be in top form for Zimbabwe to have any chance of progressing to the knock out stage. They will find it very difficult against the likes of South Africa, India and Pakistan. But, with Pakistan, one never knows. So, Zimbabwe will always have a glimmer of hope going into that fixture. The same applies for their match against the West Indies. They will back themselves to beat UAE. The crunch match for them in the group league will be the one against Ireland. That can well end up being a cliff-hanger (remember the 2007 match?) and irrespective of the team that emerges victorious, it promises to produce some good cricket and that is precisely what Zimbabwe will look to produce in the upcoming mega event.

Squad : Elton Chigumbura (captain), Regis Chakabva (wk), Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Sikandar Raza, Solomon Mire, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Brendan Taylor (Wk), Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams

Batting and bowling potential charts indicate the percentage contribution of each player in the team.

Zimbabwe Batting and Bowling Contribution Potential World Cup 2015

Key Batsmen : Craig Ervine, Brendon Taylor, Sean Williams

Key Bowlers : Tawanda Mupariwa, Tendai Chatara, Tafadzwa Kamungozi

Big Hitters : Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura

Most Experienced Player : Elton Chigumbura

Darkhorse : Solomon Mire

Team Average Age : 28 years

Oldest Player : Stuart Matsikenyeri (31 years)

Youngest Player : Tendai Chatara (23 years)

Zimbabwe will be playing two warm-up games against New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Lincoln on 9th Feb and 11th Feb respectively.

Fixtures for Zimbabwe in World Cup 2015 :

Date & Time Match Details Coverage
Sun Feb 15 (D/N)
01:00 GMT | 14:00 local
06:30 IST
3rd Match, Pool B - South Africa v Zimbabwe
Seddon Park, Hamilton
alt   alt
Thu Feb 19
22:00 GMT (prev day)
11:00 local | 03:30 IST
8th Match, Pool B - United Arab Emirates v Zimbabwe
Saxton Oval, Nelson
alt   alt
Tue Feb 24 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:30 local
09:00 IST
15th Match, Pool B - West Indies v Zimbabwe
Manuka Oval, Canberra
alt   alt
Sun Mar 1 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 13:30 local
09:00 IST
23rd Match, Pool B - Pakistan v Zimbabwe
Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane
alt   alt
Sat Mar 7 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:30 local
09:00 IST
30th Match, Pool B - Ireland v Zimbabwe
Bellerive Oval, Hobart
alt   alt
Sat Mar 14 (D/N)
01:00 GMT | 14:00 local
06:30 IST
39th Match, Pool B - India v Zimbabwe
Eden Park, Auckland
alt   alt

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