ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Pakistan v Zimbabwe, World Cup 2011, Group A, Pallekele

Lack of Tests affecting batting - Butcher

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 13, 2011

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Zimbabwe's batting woes in the World Cup are a consequence of the team not having played Tests in a long time, the national coach Alan Butcher has said. Zimbabwe have gone past 200 just once in four matches this tournament, and that effort came against minnows Canada.

"You get used to batting for longer period of times in Test cricket and that does relate to one-day cricket as well," Butcher told reporters on the eve of Zimbabwe's Group A clash against Pakistan in Pallekele. "Your top four players want to bat for the majority of the innings in a one-day game; they may have had the opportunity to bat for a day and a half in Test matches."

Zimbabwe have been in self-imposed isolation from Test cricket since 2006, when they didn't have the players to field a competitive team. However, late last year, the country's cricket board laid out an 18-month plan to return to the Test fold.

Butcher said Zimbabwe would have to look for newer talent if the trend of low scores continued. "I hope that eventually another couple of players will show that ability, because if they don't we have to find new players rather than continue with those who give us 170 totals."

Prosper Utseya is bowled by Tim Southee, New Zealand v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Motera, March 4, 2011
Zimbabwe have gone past 200 just once in this World Cup © AFP

Zimbabwe, who've lost three of their four games, have the ability to cause an upset, Butcher said. While the batting has been a problem, he believed the team had a bowling attack capable of defending a score in the range of 250. "I think the concern is to put a positive total on the board and that's what's been our problem. The minimum realistic target is 250 and if we score that then we have a chance against most teams."

Butcher also backed captain Elton Chigumbura, who's had a poor run this tournament in the middle order, to recover. "I'm not sure whether the captaincy is weighing on him. He keeps practising, keeps trying to work hard, trying to turn things around. He has got the ability and is working on some technical issues and hopefully they will pay dividends."


Comments: 13 
. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Nelson on (March 14, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

I agree with Butcher that we need to look for new staff than having to recycle Hamilton & co. If the truth be told, if Hamilton had realised his potential, he should have been on top of the world, being spoken of in the same breath as Graeme Smith & co but he became too comfortable. The same applied to people like Matsikenyeri and i hope people like Coventry and Sibanda realise that they are living on borrowed time. The same also applies to people like Chris Mpofu & Shingie who are benefit from the dearth of pace bowlers in the country. New blood should make them better or off they go. I dont like the idea of moving players who excel in their positions. Prosper is being moved, so was Elton but these guys were never replaced down the order. On any day, Hamilton is better than Elton at #5 for example, so having Hamilton @ #5 & Elton at number 7 & Prosper @ # 8 means the team is full of batsman, than trying to convert a gd bowler into a batman and replace him with Chris who can be a bat

Posted by Joe on (March 14, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

I take it then that Irelands successful chase of 320+ and regular scores of over 200 are due to the volume of test cricket they play then Alan?

Perhaps its time folks realised that test cricket and ODI's are different beasts if you are not sure try asking England.

What Zimbabwe and Ireland and Netherlands need to improve in the one day game is more ODI's against stronger opposition.

The sad part is that as Zim are an 'elite test nation' they will get the games Netherlands and Ireland will not.

SL and Idia tour England this year and remind me how many ODI's are they playing against Irl or Ned, oh yeah ZERO!

Posted by soumyas on (March 14, 2011, 11:42 GMT)

it has rained in pallekelle, But i see grounds man while removing covers are not taking care of water spilling on ground, when the covers are being removed, water on the covers should be taken out of ground carefully and should be drained. but i noticed that they spilled water on ground and later started to bring Sponges, don't they even know the Basics?

Posted by Bryton on (March 14, 2011, 11:16 GMT)

If Chigumbura is being allowed to work back into form at the world cup, why was Hamilton left behind then? Non of the replacement (Coventry or Chakabva) have done nearly as he has at his best, nor has he done as badly as they have in this tournament. I'd say go back to Hammy, or at worst get Raza Sakanda a passport, give Gary Ballance a go, Coventry is not an opener, I have been proved right (at the cost of the team progress :( ).

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 14, 2011, 10:35 GMT)


Posted by wayne on (March 14, 2011, 8:56 GMT)

I thought Zimbabwe were due back in whites this year? I think despite their sub-par scorse, they have been reasonably competitive in this tournament. It would be good to see what Price & Cremer could do when they're not restricted to 10 overs apiece...

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 14, 2011, 7:43 GMT)

Should have left Hamilton at the top of the order and played Williams at three. This would take the pressure off Taibu, Ervine, Lamb and Chigumbura in the middle order. Zim also needs some genuine quick bowlers...

Posted by Andrew on (March 14, 2011, 7:18 GMT)

Hopefully WHEN Zim play tests it will initially over the first 3 or 4 years be against Pakistan, Windies, NZ & Bangladesh, (Ireland if given status). Playing against the top nations will be a thrashing of massive proportions - if they aren't hardened against the lower placed test teams. I am reasonably confident that Zim's 1st class structure will put forward players with Test abilities.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 14, 2011, 3:18 GMT)

If Zimbabwe score 250 i am sure pakistan wont be able to chase.

Posted by Sanjay on (March 13, 2011, 23:13 GMT)

I would love to see Zim defeat Pak on Monday. Go ZIM! Show us what you're made of!

Email Feedback Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose
News | Features Last 3 days
  • No stories yet
News | Features Last 3 days
  • No stories yet

World Cup Videos