Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Khulna January 14, 2016

Bolstered squad gives Chigumbura confidence

Elton Chigumbura is contemplating a move up the batting order to allow himself a chance to play more freely © AFP

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura has said he is heartened by his team-mates' approach while training in Khulna, as they look to bounce back from the disappointment of their series loss to Afghanistan earlier this month. He also welcomed the return of "big" players like Hamilton Masakadza, Brian Vitori and Vusi Sibanda to the T20 squad.

Masakadza missed the series against Bangladesh in November last year but played against Afghanistan in the UAE, where he scored a century and two fifties across the ODIs and T20s. Both Vitori and Sibanda last played a T20 for Zimbabwe in May 2015.

"Obviously it is tough [to lose to a team against whom we are expected to win]. It is disappointing, too," he said on the eve of the first T20 against Bangladesh in Khulna. "There's always pressure from you guys but obviously we have to make sure as professional cricketers we show good courage and bounce back. In the past two days of practice, guys have shown seriousness in their training. I am sure everyone will be looking forward to the game tomorrow.

"It [return of players] is big. They are experienced, played here before. Good to have their contribution in this tour. Hamilton is showing good signs since coming back. The other guys, like Vitori, will be looking to try to raise his game to stay in the team. Sibanda is also there. They are hungry to stay in the team. It is a good combination of guys with different motivations. It will be good for the team."

Chigumbura said he may bat higher up the order to give himself more chances to bat freely. He played at No 4 five times in 2015, including once against Bangladesh, but batted down the order against Afghanistan. He also stressed on a better batting performance if Zimbabwe are to do well in the four-match T20 series.

"I would love to come up top and have more time in the crease," Chigumbura said. "In the last series, I came in a bit early in the ODIs, so you might see me up the order so I get more time to play my natural game.

"We had a bad series in UAE. This is a big series for us to make sure we bounce back from the UAE. We have to make sure we play good cricket, especially with the bat. We were disappointing with our batting in the last series."

Chigumbura also said the side would continue experimenting with the line-up to find combinations that will work at the upcoming World T20.

"We need to try different combinations, which we think will work at the World T20," he said. "So at the moment we have 16 guys here instead of 15. In the next four games you won't be shocked to see different guys batting in different batting positions.

"Maybe one guy playing first two games and resting the other two. It is going to be mainly for preparation for the World T20. At the same time we have to play good cricket."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MD Alamin on January 15, 2016, 8:18 GMT

    Good Luck Bangladesh tiger's. Love you Captain Mash and other players Love you...

  • G on January 15, 2016, 6:26 GMT

    Captain change required , this guy is a nice guy but seems to have a care free approach to the role..need someone positive and strong at the helm during matches..

  • Muhammad on January 14, 2016, 23:12 GMT

    play Sikandar Raza and Elton up the order. all the best

  • Muhammad on January 14, 2016, 23:12 GMT

    good luck Zimbabwe... i desperately want to see you win. 3-1 will win be fantastic but 2-2 at this stage will also work.

  • Andrew on January 14, 2016, 16:35 GMT

    "Big"players - who is he kidding? Vusi - talented but had ample opportunity and then some to show his talent but hasn't . Not a match winner Hami - a loyal servant, & capable of influencing a game here and there against weaker opposition but you only need to look at his average to know the Banlgas won't be fearing his return.. Brian - remember when him & Jarvis were to be the new Zim bowling spearhead? :-) again not a player to cause a flutter of fear amongst the opposition. Seems we do have a couple of promising youngsters for whom this Tour is probably too soon though. So maybe tomorrow... Anyway Hope springs eternal - we might just catch them napping. Good luck Zim

  • Deepak on January 14, 2016, 16:02 GMT

    my 11 sibanda,moor,hami,williams,raza,chigu,waller,cremer,jongwe,madziva,chisoro/panyangara/vitori. waller will be my pinch hitter. williams my 2nd spineer.

  • Amir on January 14, 2016, 15:45 GMT

    Good luck ZM. Even though I hope for 4-0 series result in BD's favouor, I hope you guys put up a great effort and get ready to spring a few surprises in T20 WC.

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