South Africa v Zimbabwe, 3rd ODI, Benoni October 22, 2010

Chigumbura upbeat despite Benoni thrashing

Liam Brickhill in Benoni

Despite a winless tour, Zimbabwe have generally committed themselves admirably in South Africa - the Benoni debacle aside - and team captain Elton Chigumbura insisted that the experience of playing top-level opponents would be helpful as Zimbabwe seek to continue their development.

"It's been a positive series for us, despite the results, especially on the batting front," Chigumbura told ESPNcricinfo. "Today was just a bad day for us all round. But for the tour as a whole, it's been a positive thing for us because now we know where we are."

Zimbabwe may well have pushed South Africa a little harder had Chigumbura been in better form, but he struggled with both bat and ball in the one-dayers, managing 37 runs in three innings and picking up just two wickets for 129 runs in 16 overs. His struggles with the ball, in particular, contributed to a wider malaise in Zimbabwe's bowling and the visitors' seamers struggled to make an impression.

"There's plenty of room for improvement, especially in our bowling," conceded Chigumbura. "We just need to get our skills to the top level, which has been the biggest let-down of the whole tour. We still have lots of work to do when it comes to control in our bowling. We are alright in the field, but our execution with the ball is where we're not getting it right."

Chigumbura suggested that a preponderance of flat, batsman-friendly wickets had exposed Zimbabwe's frailties rather more harshly than might have been the case if conditions had been more suited to seam and swing. "That's the big difference," he said.

"If you play on flat wickets your margin of error is so small, and that's when your real skills come into play. Our skills on flat wickets are not yet where we want them to be, and that's something we need to work on with the World Cup coming up in the subcontinent and our tour to Bangladesh."

Zimbabwe's next assignment is a trip to Bangladesh. Although the fixture list has not yet been finalised, the tour will give them vital experience in conditions similar to what they'll encounter at the World Cup in February.

"It's going to be good to be playing Bangladesh in their sort of conditions. In a way it was also good to play against top level opposition on flat decks here, so hopefully when we go to Bangladesh our skill level will have gone up and we'll have a better understanding of the importance of control in our bowling. I have been following their series against New Zealand, they've been playing very well. You know what to expect from them - they're going to use their spinners to attack - so when we go home we're going to be working on playing spin and also on our bowling. But our batting is good at the moment."

A noticeable omission from Zimbabwe's squad on this tour was that of Ray Price. Since Zimbabwe's series against Bangladesh in January last year, Price has picked up 49 wickets at just 25.46 - and that average drops to 23.73 in the 17 games Zimbabwe have won in that time - and Chigumbura suggested his absence had been keenly felt.

"We missed Ray price on this tour. Pricey plays a really big role in the team. Unfortunately his father isn't well so he wasn't with us this time, but hopefully when we go to Bangladesh he'll be with us and he'll help a great deal on the bowling side."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    god knows why u stick to the same toothless bowlers(mpofu,masakadza).it is a fact that they are clearly not intenational standard and most probably never will.particuarly mpofu.long have u been improving.take a look at guys like njabulo ncube,he seems to be worthy of a national call up.clearly nicolson is out of debts,so keep out of it.for the love god,get anthony ireland,he's the best chance we got to have a meaning seamer many fans have suggested over and over again,get SEAN ERVINE campbell.its e world cup,every player wants to be in worked for neil johnson.....

  • Qdzy on October 24, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    The Zimbabwean players are no longer playing to win, they are simply fulfilling fixtures and earning a living out of it.

    I can't hold that against them, there's just nothing to play for or protect, no reputation, no history, no legacy, no stats...CRY THE BELOVED GAME

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    would love to see ENGLAND knocked out and ZIM get into the quarter final stage ...... ......................AUSTRALIA.,,......,,....IRE..............................................

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Positive signs ...though they lost to SA, they fought really well....good to see Zimbabwe performing very well.

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    Well, its been more than two years snce Zimbawe won a series against Bangladesh. The last time they won against Bangladesh was when the Flowe Brothers and Streak were still playing. However, after their "retirement" from Zimbawe Cricket, they havent managed to win even a single series against Bangladesh. They have been defeated both in their homegrounds in Zimbawe and in Dhaka-Chittagong, i'e, irrespective of the conditions, pitch and atmosphere, they still couldnt beat the Tigers.

    However, I think, this Zimbawe barring line-up is indeed the strongest in years. Almost everyone of their batsmen are in form. Its also a fact that Bangladesh's batting line-up is very fragile at the moment. They only managed to win against the Kiwis because Sakib Al-Hasan batted really well and the New Zealand batting was even worse. Apart from Sakib no other batsmen were consistent enough which should be worrying for them. Taimim's return might make things better but problems with 3 & 4 remainunresolved

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    South Africa will be out of WC11 as like in previous WC tournaments.

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    Bangladesh is no more a bad team. They've surprised all teams including India, australia, Srilanka. Now they've proved that they're going to give a tough fight in WC11.

  • Shulz Van on October 23, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    I have a strong feeling that SA would prove something in this WC...There line up looks different than before and on the other hand BD is going to spring a lotta surprises..I dont think Zim stand a chance against BD in Dhaka. From a flat pitch of SA to a turning pitch against 4 specialist spinners does not sound easy!!! I think some of the major western teams might find themselves in trouble in Dhaka in the coming WC. Can BD do a 96 Lanka? Or can SA prove themselves different? Or can Sachin taste a WC victory atlast? Or maybe the biggest chokers in the WC history; England turn it around this time with players from different cultures. Well, we ll find out!!! I can feels the WC already...I live in USA but I ll travel to the Sub-continents in the WC.. Cant wait....

  • Sahil on October 23, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Scores like these are precisely the reason why I support the ICC's stance to cut down the number of teams in the 2015 edition of the World Cup.

  • Rakesh on October 23, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    Zimbabwe needs Blignaut, Sean Erwine , Travis Friend, Doug Marillier to make the side look solid. Also look for Ireland and other Zm players still playing in County cricket. Come on Alistair look for this players. They can play for couple of years till the youngsters develop.

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