West Indies v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI, Grenada

Fresh start for cricket-starved Zimbabwe

The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran

February 21, 2013

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

February 22, 2013
Start time 0930 local (1330 GMT)


Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine take a break during training, Colombo, September 21, 2012
Dwayne Bravo stands in as captain for the first two ODIs © WICB
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Think of a match involving Zimbabwe in 2012 and you could be forgiven if you failed to recall a single one. Bizarrely, Zimbabwe played just eight internationals in total (three ODIs, four T20s and a Test), losing all, in a forgettable year. Their last one-dayer was 11 months ago, on the tour of New Zealand. They played a tri-series in South Africa in June but their victory couldn't be seen by a worldwide audience as the series was unofficial. They haven't played as a unit in an international since they limped out of the World T20 in September after two games. They were due to host Pakistan and Bangladesh but none of those tours materialised. Ironically, their current tour of the West Indies, beginning with the first of three one-day internationals in Grenada, features seven games, almost the total they played in the last 12 months. They had just one practice game, against the University of West Indies Vice Chancellor's XI, in which their batsmen found form. The lack of sufficient match practice, and, importantly, time together might be to their disadvantage as they take on West Indies.

West Indies, on the other hand, have been busy travelers, having made trips to USA, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Australia. Their recent form has been patchy, having lost all five one-dayers in Australia, before rounding off the tour with a big win in the one-off T20. Their batting was the biggest disappointment. Now against easier opposition, they have chosen to rest their regular captain Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle. Dwayne Bravo takes over the captaincy and he said his first task is to get the team to regroup after a tough tour and get back the winning habit. Having won the World T20, the expectations among their home fans would have skyrocketed.

Form guide

West Indies LLLLL
Zimbabwe LLLWL

In the spotlight

Ramnaresh Sarwan was recalled for the Australia tour after 18 months, but failed to perform in the three opportunities he got. He was retained for the one-dayers against Zimbabwe and in absence of Gayle and Sammy, he will look to make the most of this second chance. It couldn't have been easy for Sarwan, fitting back in to the same environment which gave him negative vibes. Water has passed under the bridge and Sarwan is happy to be back in the set up, having overcome the mental barriers that pulled him down. He smashed 90 for the Vice Chancellor's XI on Wednesday. His best is yet to come.

Vusi Sibanda has started off the tour well, cracking 147 off 114 balls before retiring out in the warm-up match. An attacking batsman, Sibanda hasn't been a consistent scorer, with an underwhelming average of 23.93 for an opener. His record against West Indies is relatively better against other teams - 447 runs with four fifties.

Team news

Denesh Ramdin returns to the side as the wicketkeeper after Devon Thomas was dropped after an ordinary tour of Australia with the bat. Kieron Pollard, who played the Bangladesh Preimer League final on Tuesday, has experienced travel difficulties in reaching Grenada ahead of the start of the series, and is subsequently a doubtful starter. Jonathan Carter, the left-hand middle-order batsman, was called in as cover for Pollard.*

West Indies (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Tino Best, 11 Sunil Narine

Zimbabwe (from) Brendan Taylor (capt), Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Tino Mawoyo, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller, Keegan Meth, Craig Ervine, Chamu Chibhabha, Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai M'shangwe

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies and Zimbabwe have not played each other in an ODI at St Georges.
  • The teams last met in a bilateral series in the West Indies in 2010. West Indies took the five-match series 4-1 after losing the first match.
  • Zimbabwe have played 21 ODIs in all in the West Indies, winning four and losing 15.

Quotes

"Cricket is played on the day and if we don't do the right things, Zimbabwe are going to beat us."
Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies captain, warns against complacency.

04.30GMT, February 22: The preview has been updated with the news about Kieron Pollard's travel issues.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by mar2000 on (February 24, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Cahrles realy got to be hurting to be left out of the squad . Do hope he is fit for the 3 ODI . Carter should make it ahead of sarwan for this match .

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

@BrutalAnalyst Bits and pieces wicket keepers will cost us runs and wickets all the time. Devon Thomas was horrible in Aus dropping catches and giving away byes. We need the best gloveman and that is Ramdin. Forget about a keeper who can bat, its time Windies realize our keepers aren't the best batsman so we have to play our best keeper.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

Lets go Zimbabwe..................

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (February 22, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Good W.I 11 but I'd say Sarwan should take no3 responsibility lil Bravo 4 also why need for specialist keeper Charles can keep can't he ? W.I could add another young bowler and give Charles gloves in next game

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

Good luck chaps, the country is behind you!

Posted by Anti-ZCAdmin on (February 22, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

All the best to team Zimbabwe. However I'm not happy with selectors over leaving out Creamer whom I believe is the best Zim bowler in the squad. And also Regis Chakabva has to perform on this tour or he better replaced by Richmond Mutumbami. Again all the best to team Zim

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

Lets go Zim! I have a good feeling about this one...

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

Good luck Zim, play well and have fun everything will take care of it self.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

All the best Zim, it's not as if you can't play well and above expectation, you can, go for it, there's nothing to lose and everything to win.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

Really hope Ronnie gets some runs he is too good to be left out of the team. Johnson Charles fluked it in Austrlia. Honestly has to be one of the single worst batsman to ever make the international circuit. Watching him bat is just painful. Although props too him for making the most of what is possibly the worst technique ever seen at international levl, must have a hell of an eye.

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