ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Pakistan v Zimbabwe, World Cup 2011, Group A, Pallekele
Lack of Tests affecting batting - Butcher
March 13, 2011
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."
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."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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Whatever happens, the Australia-New Zealand World Cup final at the MCG will be the most divine fun