Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Harare, 5th day April 29, 2013

Taylor pleased with Zimbabwe's progress


Brendan Taylor has given Zimbabwean Test cricket a pass mark after their drawn series against Bangladesh. Although their dominance in the first game put the hosts in position to claim a series victory and set them up to win consecutive Tests for the first time in 12 years, Taylor regarded it as achievement enough that they shared honours overall.

"We've gone forward, especially considering the way it went for us in West Indies," Taylor said. "It does take character to win Test matches and we leveled it. It's not the end of the world that we didn't win. There's still plenty of cricket to play and hopefully we will keep getting better."

Zimbabwe were blanked across all formats in West Indies a month ago but it was their Test defeats which stung hardest. Their batsmen were outspun by Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels and made to look like amateurs.

Zimbabwe were desperate to overturn that and do some damage control to their reputations. Twin centuries from Taylor and a hundred from Hamilton Masakadza went some way to doing that but overall, Zimbabwe's batting was what let them down. Their top order proved fragile and dented their hopes of saving the second Test, which Taylor said were still alive overnight.

"We thought batting out the day was the more realistic goal. We felt if we could bat around Hamilton and take it hour by hour then we could get there," he said. "But there were too many soft dismissals."

Taylor put Zimbabwe's batting inconsistencies down to mindset rather than inability. "It's our mental process. We practice really hard and technically we are ok but guys do work for a good solid hour and then find ways to get out. If we can all dig deep and find our ways to be a little sharper that will be good."

Despite the rest of the line-up making similar mistakes, Taylor was pleased with the progress they made overall. "Our middle order is looking strong again," he said. Malcolm Waller scored a half-century, Graeme Cremer notched up his highest Test score and Keegan Meth and Shingi Masakadza are proving handy lower-order all-rounders.

Taylor was particularly impressed with the showing of Shingi, the younger brother of Hamilton. He was Zimbabwe's leading wicket-taker with 10 at an average of 16.80, accepted the job of nightwatchman and performed it well and contributed with the bat in his regular position as well. "I am very pleased with the way he bowled. He is one hell of a trier," Taylor said. "He has got such a big heart and he never stops giving his best. If we had eleven of him, we'd have a pretty good side."

But not even Shingi could bowl as well as Zimbabwe hoped when they put Bangladesh in to bat on what they thought was a lively surface. It turned out to be a far tamer strip than the one on which the first Test was played on the same ground and the Bangladesh batsmen settled on it quickly.

Taylor stood by his decision to try and make first use of it. "There was definitely enough for the fast bowlers. We didn't hit the right areas consistently enough and we allowed them to score freely. It's hard to come back from that. We didn't back up anyone. Keegan Meth contained nicely from one end but Kyle Jarvis was trying too hard and we let the pressure go from the other end. Kyle still has a long to go as a bowler and I'm sure he will bounce back stronger."

Taylor thought the same of his whole team, who will have a healthy dose of Test cricket to measure themselves against this year, with incoming tours against Sri Lanka and Pakistan scheduled. "We knew we didn't help ourselves in this match but we are growing," Taylor said. "Bangladesh probably won two-thirds of the match and we had too many bad sessions. We were just outplayed but we will get better."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • varun on April 30, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Hoope they become the Zimbabwe of old with great players like Flower brothers, Henry Olanga and Mbwanga, Heath Streak.. Masakdza is one to watch out for..

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    BD did not understand the ZIM condition at the 1st test match. But in the 2nd test they used the experience from 1st test and own.

  • Abdul on April 30, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    Now a days Test nations trying to get unethical home advantage. India is the correct instance. When Bangladesh touring Srilanka we saw that field grass was very long but after Bangladesh 1st innings grass was re-sized and that helped Srilanka. Now in Zim they do not give enough practice facilities to BD team. Bangladesh is playing this kind of pitch after two years and BD needs to practice sessions and match to adjust the condition. As a result we found a unprepared BD. ICC should take step against this kind of unethical advantage. Also when an Asian team played against other countries then an umpire need to have from sub continent. Because good empires gave the bad decision when BD doing well against Non asian teams.

  • Girik on April 30, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    @ tatactg, even the hosts need practice matches not to acclimatise to the pitch and conditions but to acclimatise to a Test match atmosphere. Playing T20 and ODI's beforehand doesn't give Zimbabwe sufficient practice. They would have performed much better if they had more Tests behind their belt than just the Windies tour.

  • Julian on April 29, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    Fair result considering Where both teams are, I think Zimbabwe should be more concerned by the mass exodus of players then the 1 all series result. With Mawoyo out Zim was left with no options for opening batsman having to use Middle order batsman Maruma & w/k Chakbva. At Test level you need your openers to have a exceptional techniques and Zim payed the price for not picking regular openers. Of course the reason for not picking a 'Qualified' opener was because there was no one else to pick !!!! Look at the players who could be playing for Zim but choose not to S Ervine, C Ervine, Ballance, DeGrandhomme, Ireland, Querl, Coventry, Rainsford, Matsikinyeri,Cameron etc. then add the ones who have Quit all together Ebrahim, Rogers, Taibu, Lamb, Duffin, Samunderu etc. and most concerning the young 'future' players who have apprently set sail maybe for good Moor, N Waller, M Lake, R Burl etc There are prob many more and for a cricketing nation like Zim they simply can't afford to lose them

  • Shoaib on April 29, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    Zimbabwe played well. The more Cricket they play the better they will become. I'm sure they will beat Sri Lanka.

  • Shabbir on April 29, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    I don't think that Mushi used the lack of a practice match as a n excuse for the loss. He was referring to the lack of respect that a host country showed a visiting country. His excuse for the BD team not performing well was that they didn't apply themselves.

    It is i also noticeable that he refused to comment on the poor umpiring - Taylor was out for 34 in the first innings of the first match ... now that would have been a legitimate excuse for a loss! lol

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    Blaming lack of practice match as the reason to lose is one of the weakest -- do they practice how not to through away wickets??? -- Obviously there are so many reasons for results that includes poor umpiring as well. But BD needs to stop blaming but to convert weakness into strength -- that's the strategy.

  • Jo on April 29, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    Taylor had the main issue pinned down. Mental strength is lacking than the ability. All they (batting unit) has to do is, how to stay long in crease. Bowling unit has so far done its part fairly consistent. Batting has to show they have the mente

  • ZCF on April 29, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    @Anti PJ Moor? Seriously?

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