New Zealand v Zimbabwe, 1st Test, Napier January 30, 2012

Zimbabwe embarrassed by loss, says Butcher

ESPNcricinfo staff

Alan Butcher, the Zimbabwe coach, has said his players were embarrassed by their loss inside three days to New Zealand in Napier. Zimbabwe were bowled out twice on the third day of the Test, and lost by an innings and 301 runs, slumping to their lowest Test total, 51, in the process.

"They [the players] were embarrassed in the dressing-room and they should have been," Butcher told Fairfax News. "They all felt we let ourselves down badly and that we hadn't given a good account of ourselves."

Zimbabwe have performed creditably in Tests since returning from a six-year self-imposed exile last August. They beat Bangladesh in their comeback Test and then pushed New Zealand till deep into the fifth day in Bulawayo in November. The Napier Test was their first on foreign soil for six years and though Butcher knew it would be hard, he expected his team to at least last all five days.

"Regardless of how the result had gone, it wasn't going to be easy for us to play a Test away from home, having been out of Test cricket for some time," he said, "but we hoped we would at least provide five days of competitive cricket. We got nowhere near that."

The Zimbabweans had fared well in the warm-up match, against a New Zealand XI in Gisborne; their batsmen built a total of 329 to give them a first-innings lead. The sudden slide in form between that game and the Test match was something Butcher said he could not understand.

"It was disappointing. It bore no relation to how we've been practising and how we've played in recent times. Not only the batting on Saturday, but I thought we didn't bowl particularly well on the first day. All around I think we were below par and New Zealand played well and took full advantage.

"With the bat we played at a lot of wide balls and we played across straight balls. We didn't do things that we've been doing pretty well. It's difficult to know why we should collapse collectively, twice, with the exception of Regis [Chakabva] who played very well and showed you could make runs. They did bowl some bad balls that we could score from."

Zimbabwe will now travel to Dunedin for the first of three ODIs, which will be followed by two Twenty20 internationals. When New Zealand toured Zimbabwe in October last year, Zimbabwe managed to win the last of the three ODIs by chasing 329. Butcher said they needed to replicate that kind of performance.

"That will be in their [New Zealand's] minds; to know we can compete in a much better fashion than we did in the Test match. We've got to. If we keep losing like that, then we'll find ourselves back where we were five or six years ago."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Johan on January 31, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    The funny old game called cricket... Vasbyt Zim, these things happen... Just remember you are playing against one of the best TEAMS in cricket, as a collective NZ is always dangerous! Someone always picks up the slack for them and pull the team thru! I don't think the Saffers will find the going easy on their tour, learn from the best and their never say die attitude! Goodluck for the short games!

  • Dummy4 on January 31, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    I personally think that Zim should play the A sides like Eng, SA, Aus in order to improve their cricket. They should play these sides away from home in order to be accustomed to different conditions and then slowly start playing sides like Bangladesh, West Indies and the kiwis after they have proven that they can provide stiff competition. I have a big question mark on some of their bowlers match fitness, for example Brian Vitori was bowling around the mid 130 kph when he started off but later in the day he was bowling around the 120' Heath Streak needs to work with the bowlers to improve endurance. If zimbabwe had bowled well they could have restricted NZ to below 300. Batting is different story, their batting can only improve if they train and play in different conditions in order to improve their technique. Zimbabwe have a long way to go and they have a lot to learn, i think that with more matches they could be able to challenge the bigger sides within 5 or 6 years time

  • Ryan on January 30, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    Zimbabwe would definitely be embarrassed but I expect them to come back strong in the ODIs. They may not win a match but will put up a good fight in a couple of them with the likes of Utseya and Chigumbura coming in. Ray Price didn't play the Test because of injury, will he be back for the one-dayers.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    Do not worry . Both the SL and AUS were all out for less than 50 recently. I think Zim, SL, Bangladesh should play more games with associates and A teams from Aus, Eng, Pak,and Wi. This would provide us with better test matches.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    Look, Indian have been whitewash... plz don bother Zim as they are growing up again..People do not underestimate Bangladesh. Bangladesh is much better than India.....Mind it Indians ~~~

  • Terry on January 30, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Zimbarbwe's loss shows that they need to play matches against the associates (ICup) as well as test cricket. Zimb and Bang should have to qualify against the top 6 or 8 associate teams over a two year period to qualify for test cricket. ICC can then invest money in the winner to bring there grounds up to scratch. Zimb & Bang should be included in 2011-13 ICup with ICup Winner qualifying for 2014-17 (48 months) and ICup Runner up qualifying for 2014-15 (24 months). The fact that Ireland cant qualify for test cricket and yet Bang & Zimb get to without any competition shows how old and outdated the ICC political method of qualification is. If a team is the best of the non-top 8 teams, they should play for four years with second place playing for two years. Come on ICC, lets stop this second-class citizen approach to the game!

  • Andrew on January 30, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    The difference between this Zimbabwe side and the side that was thumped in 2005 and subsequently withdrew from tests is that there are some genuine test-level players in the current side who have the potential to do better and will be genuinely hurt by the scale of the loss in Napier. I think they will learn from this experience and come back from it. They did better against Pakistan last year than England have done in their last two tests! The team that was left after the player withdrawal in 2005 was little more than a schoolboy XI: this team may be inexperienced, but give them a chance - they have potential.

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    Why are Zimbabwe embarrassed by loss??? Seems like they haven't learnt anything and will take a while to learn... There is nothing to be embarrassed. They could have easily said that "We are not ashamed, we are disappointed". or perhaps, "We also won 1-0 against Bangladesh". :|

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Zimbabweans don't have fake pride. =)

  • Nishant on January 30, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    It was always going to b difficult for the Zimbo's to beat kiwi's especially at home.. They were high in confidence after beating Australia in Hobart. Zimbabwe need to forget what happened and concentrate in the coming Odi's and t20 series and on the other hand kiwi's need to mix their combination right on their absence of their skipper Ross Taylor and big man Jesse Ryder. They have a big season lined up south Africa then they tour west indies and then India. So keeping the combination right and keep the winning momentum going will see new Zealand ahead while on the other hand Zimbabwe need to work hard in all departments. Their batting line up look weak and fielding is sloppy, bowling is okay at times. Zimbabwe need to pull off their socks big time to compete with bigger teams...

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