Zimbabwe coach says team are ready April 28, 2006

Curran upbeat ahead of series

Cricinfo staff

Kevin Curran, Zimbabwe's coach, has said that their preparations for the seven-match one-day series against West Indies have gone well and that his side are ready for what promises to be a difficult task.

"To come over here with such a young side was always going to be very, very difficult," he explained. "But we did prepare very well. We had a seven-week preparatory period in Harare. We had a plan for that to play as a team. We do not have a lot of experience so it is vital that the young players play as a unit and stick to our basic game plan which we used to good effect against Kenya."

Curran said there were a lot of positives that came out of the two warm-up matches at the Jolly Beach Resort, which were both won, and that the team stuck to the game plan and bowled well, particularly the spinners. "I think the spinners will be key on this tour. Our bowling attack will have to revolve around Prosper Utseya and Ryan Higgins. We have an extra spinner in Keith Dabengwa, which gives us another option as well.

"Ours is a young team and we need to keep working hard and learning," Curran contined. "Winning is a habit, but even when we had our strongest side we didn't always win. We've now won two games on this tour, and if we play the way we have so far there's no way that we won't have a good tour.

"I am seeing signs of progress in a lot of the young players. It will take time but as long as we can see progress that is what matters. For example, Piet Rinke was struggling with his form in the build-up to the tour by Kenya but he has come right since then and played a vital role with the bat during the warm-up matches. We have been working on a few technical areas of his game. It's all working out fine now.

"The players must not think of the result but the process," Curran concluded. "They will need to play the match one ball at a time, and not put themselves under pressure."