Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 5th ODI, Bulawayo August 21, 2011

Defeats have taken the gloss off - Butcher

Mohammad Isam in Bulawayo

The Bulawayo defeats were not the finale that Alan Butcher and Brendan Taylor would have wanted to mark Zimbabwe's second-coming to international cricket, though the overall 3-2 victory no doubt pleased both players and fans. Zimbabwe may have secured the series even before the teams made the five-hour trip south from Harare, but the two losses at the Queens Sports Club would have stung.

While the biggest crowd of the series built up through the morning, Shakib Al Hasan was busy building a competitive total for Bangladesh. Naturally, there was some discontent later in the day as the home side was rolled over for 160.

No, Zimbabwe weren't complacent, coach Butcher made clear up front. "We weren't on holiday," he said. "Bangladesh came back and played well in the third match in Harare. We knew from playing against them in the past that they had more to offer than they showed in the first two games."

Man-of-the-Series Brian Vitori's absence due to injury, Butcher said, made quite a difference. "Brian Vitori bowled magnificently in the first two games and tore their batting apart. He wasn't very successful in the third game and missed the last two with a niggle."

Butcher also said Bangladesh may have underestimated the hosts early on in the series. "They may have been complacent, thinking they would roll us over and then before they knew it, they lost the series. I am disappointed to lose the last two games [though], it has taken a bit of the gloss off."

With Zimbabwe set to host Pakistan for one Test, three ODIs and two Twenty20s in September, Butcher said the side needed to look at what's worked for them in this series and use that knowledge to improve further. "There are still things we need to work on to keep moving forward. We played as a collective unit. There have been a few outstanding performances, of course Brian Vitori and the experienced players contributing in most games."

Stuart Law, Bangladesh's newly-appointed coach, said it was time to review the way things worked in Bangladesh cricket. "I understand Bangladesh are very passionate about their cricket. They do things differently and I think sometimes it might not be to the benefit of the cricket team," he said. "What's happened over the years obviously hasn't worked, because Bangladesh hasn't lifted off the bottom [of the rankings].

"I know I'm going to upset a lot of people when I mention these things, but if we really think hard about it, a lot of things have got to change. Not just from the players' side, but from all walks of life relating to Bangladesh cricket. It's not a negative or harsh thing to try something different to make the boys better and start climbing that ladder."

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 24, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Was expecting a whitewash, credit to BD for saving face. I wonder if some of the Zim cricketers are now aware that it's now survival of the fittest and that no one is guaranteed a place anymore, not with all the improved talent chomping at the bit. By now Zim should be able to bat all the way to no.7 without collapse. All the same, good to win the series. Pakistan will no doubt test out mettle all the more!! Go Zim.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    The newly appointed coach of BAN should look after the batting order of his team. He should get the authority to rearrange and resuffle the team. "Team is permanent but performance is temporary" is not applicable for the team where the better players did not get the opportunity and the consistant failure cricketer(s) are in the team. The management of Bangladesh Cricket Board can't escape themselves for the consistant failure of the team. The never provide sporting wicket to the cricketer. Spining wicket helps the team to win in the home ground in the light of the spinner without the contribution of the batsmen. The batsmen never get the oppurnity to prepare themselves for the oversease series in the sporting wicket. Please prepare sporting wickets at least for the domestic cricket and help Bangladesh Cricket to alive in world cricket.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Zimbabwe played very well I'm really happy they improved the will definately perfom well in the coming tours I'm sure they will the series against Pakistan and New Zealand they will make significant improvement in the rankings in Odis and test I bet zim will win against pak best of luck Zimbabwe

  • shahadat on August 23, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Give law all the power , he can guide bangladesh nicely

  • Muhammad Rakibul on August 22, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    Actually Vitori made the difference between two teams. He is wonderful pacer & future of Zim. Rubel also shined in this series. But after all it's a close series like 5 match ODI series in 2006 in Zim when Taylor's last ball 6 sealed series for Zim in 3-2 margin. BD have to change a lot of thing according to Law. But their first lesson should b not to underestimate opponents even though they r inferior than BD in recent past!

  • Andrew on August 22, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    @ Troyd - whilst I rate Taibu, only when he bats @ #7 will Zimbabwe beat the next level of Test teams. What I mean by that is Taibu is a top batsmen for Zim, but very average at International level, when Zim get another 2 good batsmen batting higher than him, Taibu then becomes more valuable as his runs @ #7 will often turn matches. -- -- -- One area where Zim have really placed themselves above Bangladesh & way ahead of the Associates is in their pace bowling. They now have Meth, Jarvis, Vitori & Mpofu as a squad of seamers, who whilst aren't greats appear to have good careers at International level ahead of them. Good stuff Zimbabwe!

  • Andrew on August 22, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Nice to have won, but still a LOT more progress required. Vittori and, to a lesser extent, Jarvis were the bright spots with the ball. Utseya tight as ever but the hope of him turning into an allrounder, there were hints previously thathe might, have dissappeared, our tail starts at 8. The middle order is a worry, i would give Waller & Chakabva an extended run for Mutizwa and Ervine, with Taibu at 5. Good to see Vusi do well & Hamilton, but it was against the better teams that these two struggled previously, so we wait and see if their progress is genuine. Here´s hoping against Pakistan!!! Good luck Zim!

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    I agree with Nduru, it was as insignificant as the stupid test match going on and as stupid as the century made by one of your veterans. Cheers for India, with so many minnows in the ranking table they are at stake. ICC should put India in a separately higher tier where all others will fight to get and play them only in their home.

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    @Nduru. Yes you may be right, but i think Bulawayo pitch turned the Zims down as it was more suitable for BD players specially their spinners. Zim batters may also be complescent, but when the top 4 Zim batsmen fails, then there is nothing noteworthy (with respect to Waller and Mutizwa).

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    @ Mr. Butcher, last two losses can't fade away the glory of winning both the series. The dued jobs have been done initially, so, there were opportunities for the players to be complacent before a fortcoming harder home series against Pakistan, no matter how much you deny that. But, on the other hand, I'm not taking anything away from BD's last two performances and specially, finding two new good looking performers. @ Mr. Law, as a professional you know that at the end of the day people wont count if you've upseted any but the success of the team.

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