Cricket

Whatmore looks to lift 'fed up' Zim

2015-02-06 08:37
Dav Whatmore (Gallo)

Cape Town -  New Zimbabwe coach Dav Whatmore says the players are fed up with failure and are looking to make a statement of their potential at the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Zimbabwe returned deflated from a dismal tour of Bangladesh late last year that saw them lose all three test matches and whitewashed 5-0 in the one-day series.

That prompted Zimbabwe Cricket to dump former coach Stephen Mongongo and bring in the vastly experienced Whatmore, who led Sri Lanka to the global title in 1996.

He will have had just six weeks to work with the players when the World Cup starts, not long enough to iron out major flaws but time to improve strategy and build confidence.

"I got a sense of genuineness to turn things around, especially from the players," Whatmore told ESPNcricinfo. "They seem to think enough is enough and want to do better. They want to move on.

"I am always an optimist but I am going in with my eyes wide open. They can play and they are tough enough. They're just looking for more of what they need to perform."

Key to Zimbabwe's chances will be the form of batsman Brendan Taylor, the most accomplished of their top six and the player they try to build their innings around.

Captain Elton Chigumbura provides power-hitting down the order and is also useful with the ball.

There has been a recall for spinner Prosper Utseya despite the International Cricket Council banning his off-break ball because of an illegal action, with the player now trying to reinvent himself as a medium-pacer who bowls cutters.

All-rounder Hamilton Masakadza and left-handed middle-order batsman Sean Williams are other players to watch, while the pace attack will be led by Tinashe Panyangara, who is the liveliest of their quicks.

Zimbabwe will expect to beat United Arab Emirates in their first round pool and will likely have to overcome Ireland to stand a chance of a place in the quarter-finals.

Victory would still be needed over at least one of South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan or India.

Since the last World Cup in 2011 they recorded home wins against New Zealand, Pakistan and most recently Australia last August, but those matches were played on low and slow conditions that will not be found Down Under.

Their only away victory against a major test-playing nation since 2003 came in West Indies five years ago.

Read more on:    dav whatmore  |  cricket
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