Cricket World Cup 2011

Zimbabwe eye spin from start

2011-02-20 17:44
Raymond Price (AFP)

Ahmedabad - Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher said he would be happy to throw the new ball to a spinner if it helps shock defending champions Australia in Monday's World Cup clash.

Zimbabwe have a clutch of spinners, Raymond Price, Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer, who are capable of exerting pressure.

Butcher is aware that Australia have struggled against spin on slow pitches, losing both of their warm-up matches against India and South Africa.

"We know spinners are our best bowlers. That is going to be our strategy and the Australians also know it. There is a chance of a spinner opening the bowling, but we have to bowl well," said Butcher.

The tactic was used on Sunday when New Zealand off-spinner Nathan McCullum opened the bowling against Kenya in Chennai with four overs yielding 15 runs.

Englishman Butcher said Zimbabwe's bowlers needed to restrict Australia to a total of 300 or below.

"If it goes beyond 300, it'd be very tough for us," said Butcher, who added that his unheralded team will need be at their best to stretch the champions.

"Probability is if both sides play their best cricket, the formbook suggests that we come second," said Butcher, on the eve of his team's day-night match.

Australia, eyeing a record fourth successive World Cup title, have won 25 of their 27 one-day internationals against Zimbabwe.

Their lone defeat came in the first game played between the two sides in the 1983 World Cup in England while one match was abandoned due to rain.

Australia have also not lost a match in the last two World Cups in South Africa and the West Indies under Ricky Ponting.

"The longer the winning run is the closer it might be to coming to an end. It may not be us to stop them but someone has to. We have to prepare as well as we can. We are focused," said Butcher.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Cricket World Cup 2011

The day Aussies went 'soft'?

2011-04-01 07:37

Newly appointed Michael Clarke seems to represent a seismic change to Australian cricket captaincy characteristics. Read More


Who would you like to see named as the next Proteas' coach?


Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.