Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Harare

Zimbabwe need to inspire in dark times

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

August 26, 2013

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Start time 0930 local (0730 GMT)

Brendan Taylor hits down the ground, Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st T20, Bulawayo, May 11, 2013
Brendan Taylor has to rouse his side somehow © AFP

Big Picture

What must a young, upcoming cricketer in Zimbabwe feel right now? He would be told he has to follow in the footsteps of the Flowers and the Streaks. What he sees are the Ervines and the Ballances, who choose to play cricket in another country. He would be told he has to derive inspiration from the exploits of the Zimbabwe side of the 90s. What he sees is a national team struggling to come up with even a single performance that would inspire him. He wants to believe his life can be all about cricket, only cricket. All around him, there are signs that show such a belief is just not sustainable in practice, at least in Zimbabwe.

He hears seniors talk about how difficult it is to provide for their families, he sees the national side threaten to stop playing till they are promised better wages. Two days after the board promises, he sees one of his heroes, fast bowler Kyle Jarvis, all of 24, quit international cricket so that he can play the game for counties and franchises and make some money while his body lasts. He spots a chilling sentence in Jarvis' media statement that thoroughly shakes him up, beliefs and all. "I informed my team-mates yesterday that I would be leaving and they were supportive and fully understood why I was doing this." Half-prepared to give up the game, he looks around for some hope, some sign that everything is not lost for Zimbabwe cricket, where those who choose to stay on support those who choose to leave.

And then Brendan Taylor and his men go down without a fight to Pakistan in the format in which they were supposed to have the best chance of causing an upset. Zimbabwe lost both Twenty20 internationals by considerable margins, their batsmen falling to the Pakistan spinners, who took a combined 4 for 67 and 5 for 75 in the two matches. If they couldn't compete with Pakistan for 40 overs, what chance do they stand over 100 overs?

If they couldn't stop Jarvis from leaving, what chance do they have of preventing others who give up on the country in the future? If this continues to happen, what chance more and more young, upcoming players won't quit either Zimbabwe or cricket much earlier than Jarvis did?

No money from the board, no fight from the players, no inspiration for the followers. Money won't come around for a while, but that should not stop Taylor and his men from putting up a fight. Especially in these dark times, that is the bare minimum the followers of Zimbabwe cricket deserve. We can all do with some inspiration.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan WWTLW
Zimbabwe LLLLL

Players to watch

As if all the responsibility of being Zimbabwe's leading batsman and captain wasn't enough, Brendan Taylor also dearly needs to rouse his side at this juncture, with both words as a leader and deeds with the bat. That this hasn't been a productive season for him won't help, but form as a constraint fades before the enormity of the task in front of him.

Nasir Jamshed was dropped from the Test side for this tour after just two games against a tough opponent like South Africa. He's spoken about how disappointed he felt, and how he plans to make a come back with good limited-overs performances. He could not do much in the T20s, now comes the format in which he's impressed the most.

Team news

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdur Rehman and Asad Shafiq are the additions to the Pakistan squad for the ODIs in place of Sohail Tanvir, Zulfiqar Babar and Sohaib Maqsood, although there was a case for keeping the inexperienced batsman Maqsood around the team for the ODI leg.

Pakistan (possible) 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Asad Shafiq/Umar Amin, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Saeed Ajmal, 9 Asad Ali/Abdur Rehman, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Mohammad Irfan

In another unfortunate reminder of how things are, Zimbabwe announced their 18-member ODI squad late on the eve of the first ODI, but it remains to be seen what XI features for the game.

Zimbabwe (possible): 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Sikandar Raza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt & wk), 5 Malcolm Waller, 6 Sean Williams, 7 Timcyen Maruma, 8 Shingi Masakadza, 9 Prosper Utseya, 10 Brian Vitori, 11 Tinashe Panyangara

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have won 12 of the 15 ODIs they have played in Zimbabwe against the hosts. Zimbabwe were able to win one and tie another, but both those matches were back in 1995
  • Shahid Afridi has played 354 ODIs for Pakistan, and needs three games to overtake Wasim Akram. Only Inzamam-ul-Haq is in front after that, with 375 matches for his country

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

@ Doorie Qazi

Be specific about how Indian monopoly on ICC which you can't see in near future. Indian scheduled their tour to ZIM within short time & in spite of hectic time table. How ICC could help in finding sponsorship for ZIM. It is the internal matters which affect their cricket. Now PAK & SL are going to tour them which is good sign for them. You need to flush out wrong perceptions about IND from your brain.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

Bowling fast is not sufficient to be competitive in international cricket. Some of the fans must know that the speed isn't be criteria for good bowling attack. If today's PAK generation of Irfan, Junaid, Asad,etc.. can't control Zimbabwe's batting, then it is useless to point out other team's bowling attack. Some fans says PAK don't need Indian type medium bowlers but realistically their bowlers have took their team on Top of the Ranking table since long time. Self observation is the need of the hour now.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (August 27, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

There's been several of you subcontinent fans applauding Zimbabwe for how they played in the first and particularly the second game against Pakistan. On behalf of myself, Zimbabwean players and fans I'd like to thank you for that. This Pak limited overs attack is really as good as the best if not the best in world cricket right now, and in that respect our boys did very well. Unlike the doomsayers, chronic anti-Zim sufferers, you are not blinded to anything positive that grows out of that small Southern African country's cricket.

The ODIs will be an uphill task, but I think the boys realise that ZC has met them half-way in terms of their financial demands and in order for them to be honoured without any reservations on either side they also have to come to the party. I expect good quality bowling&batting from them to make a fist of it.

Solid Mawoyo needs match fitness ahead of the Tests so: Matsikenyeri, Mawoyo, Hami, Taylor, Vusi, Williams, Elton, Maruma, Utseya, Panyangara, Chatara

Posted by   on (August 27, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

Mr tuk tuk is only player who win many matches for us, so dont blame misbah. why no one ask about hafeez what he done in last 5 matches,,why misbah target by people?? sohaib is nice find of pakistan,, umer amin last t20 innings against w indies are good but he did not look confidence. Pakistan need umer akmal type players which are confident to build or win matches for pakistan. Pakistan need fast bowlers as well,, asad ali is not a fast bowler,, we need real fast bowlers like shoaib akhtar,, wasim akram and waqar younis,, we dont need indian type medium bowlers,, Pakistan fast bowling is world famous,,, so dont forget tradition,, and at last pray for abdul razzak .. ALLAH give sense to Pakistani selectors give chance to this man.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Maqsood should be in as Haris sohail.

Posted by   on (August 27, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

Can I ask what ICC is doing in helping Zimbabwe cricket in a dark times ? At least they should be sponsored by ICC till they found their own sponsor. ICC can never be like FIFA till Indian monopoly ends ( which i cant see at least in near future)

Posted by   on (August 27, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

I m really looking gorward to a good performance from Nasir Jamshed.

Posted by hotcric01 on (August 27, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

Sohaib Maqsood seems to be a fine ODI batsman.Pakistan should give him more opportunities.Hafeeze is useful as a allrounder but not as a top order batsman.Pakistan should settle their batting order positions before mid of 2014.Because WC is not far away.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (August 27, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

PAK TEAM should be as 1)Nasir J. 2)Ahmed S. 3)Hafiz M. 4)Misbah/Haris 5)Soaib Maqsood 6)AFRIDI 7)Sarfraz A. 8)Ajmal/Babar 9)Junaid K. 10)Anwar/Umar Amin 11)IRFAN

Please don't include anymore Asad Safiq, Sohail Tanvir in PAK TEAM.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

zimbabwe have batted well in both t 20s they have played some good cricket. the matches were interesting and i think they played well, i think zimbabwes well wishers and fans need to be happy by the way their team has performed. we all know zim is not good against spin but atleast they played pakistani spinners consciously and negotiated them well.pakistani bowling attack is 1 of the best bowling attacks and despite that zim played well. we should a t the moment focus that zim play good cricket consecutively and with time they will get more competitive, and like bangladesh they can surprise any team. despite the positives the selection was not understandable why would you play timycen maruma who always struggles against good bowling whwn you can select someone lik sikander raza butt whos a dashing aggressive t20 batsman .he is gaining confidence and should be used regularly he is a good propect . imagine a middle order with taylor ,butt ,williams ,chigumbura, williams,coventry/mawoyo

Posted by mzm149 on (August 26, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

Hopefully this would be the last international tour of Sarfraz Ahmed. After pathetic performance with bat and gloves in South Africa, it was unfair with a younger wicketkeeper to choose him.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

I dont get how people can bear nasir jamshed. He is TERRIBLE at cricket and only played good when his odi career got started and hasnt gotten any good score ever since, and when he did he scored a super slow 50 when pak needed a quick innings. He should be dropped from the side immediately and be replaced by either azhar ali or haris sohail. if jamshed wants to open for pakistan in all 3 formats he needs to score a few centuries against a poor bowling side (Zimbabwe).

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

Those calling Azhar Ali and Kamran Akmal for likes of Asad Shafiq are messed up. I would love to see both Shoaib Maqsood and Asad Shafiq play in the line up along with Umar Amin for ODI's as they play with the proper technique and look to play straight. Give a game to Harris Sohail as well for Mohd. Hafeez. Likes of Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik and Faisal Iqbal should never play cricket again honestly or at least the selectors should never select them as they are not team players.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (August 26, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

Sohaib Maqsood looked good batsman, PAK TEAM should use his skills as middle order batsman. Anwar Ali looked good in batting, but need improvement in bowling. PCB should hire more young players and groom for 2015 WC. Mr. tuktuk, Asad Safiq, Sohail Tanvir should say bye to cricket forever.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 19:35 GMT)

its unfortunate to see Sohaib leaving and Asad Shafiq arriving. Shafiq has been a consistant failure and whenever he scores in like 10 matches its too slow . he has a career average of 27 and strike rate hardly reaching 70 which is really poor for ODI standards. Now with Umar Amin, Harris Sohail & Sohaib coming in the ranks and proving well worthy of their spot in the side it is ridiculous why Shafiq is in the side. If Pakistan wants a slow scoring steady player then Azhar ali has far better performances both on the international and domestic circuit than Shafiq. I mean much better. If only the selectors could leave their prejudice political approach Shafiq does NOT deserve a spot in the ODIs. For those who feel that he is batting down the order well he has been playing at 4 for a while and given the condition of Pakistan batting gets to bat when there are still a lot of overs left but gets stuck in the crease wasting deliveries. He is good for Tests where should only be retained

Posted by grahaam on (August 26, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

A very matter of fact, carefully written piece..

Posted by M.Shehzad_2K7 on (August 26, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Asad Shafiq is good player but Misbah & Pakistani team management is not utilizing him well ... thats real unfortunate

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

1-nasir jamshid 2-ahmad shahzad 3-asad shafiq 4-haris sohail 5-umer amin-6 muhammad hafiz 7-sarfraz ahmad 8-anwar ali 9-rahman 10-junaid 11-asad ali

all youngster should be given a chance and senior player like misbah,afridi and ajmal should be rested...hafiz should lead the side...

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

I think Zimbabwe did ok, this is the same pakistan side that beaten world T20 champions, not long ago..

Further though things are gloomy for Zimbabwe Cricket.. But have two subcontinent teams and some cricket will help things.. and let's not expect wonders from them..

Even there golden 90's team used to have only a rare success..

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

I just do not understand why Shafiq is in the ODI squad. He has consistently failed. I would also have liked to have seen both Azhar Ali and Kamran Akmal in the squad. I see Azhar Ali as a future captain and would make him vice captain immediately both for ODIs and tests. It is harsh that Kamran has been dropped from ODI squad, he was not the only batsman who failed in the Champions Trophy and by the time he came into bat Team Pakistan had already lost the match. Assuming everyone is available my ODI XI would be: 1. Jamshed, 2. Shehzad, 3. Azhar (vc), 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Misbah, 6. Hafeez / Afridi, 7. Kamran (w/k), 8. Wahab / Tanvir, 9. Gul, 10. Ajmal, 11. Junaid. This gives a good balance of three pace bowlers and two spinners. Azhar Ali should also be encouraged to bowl and let Umar Akmal concentrate solely on his batting.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

An encouraging performance for Zimbabwe in the second t20, i feel their is some talent there namely Utseya, Vitori, and the Mazakadsas' what ie important now is for the Government to back the board, and seriously consider a change in the captaincy now, my optiom would be Mazakadsa.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

I think Zimbabwe competed very well in the second of the matches, scoring 160 runs against quality Pakistan bowling is no small feat... I think it should be appreciated... However, they are no match for Pakistan side in the ODIs and test...

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

whats happening to zimbabwe cricket 4 tomorrow's match squad not yet decided what a pity............

Posted by LeftBrain on (August 26, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

I said it before T2o leg of the tour that it is good for Cricket in general and Zimbabvwe cricket in particular if ZImbabwe can 'compete' with Pakistan. Interesting, hard-fought, competitive games will help Zimbabwe cricket and inspire its youngsters. I hope for a better perfomance in the field from Zimbabwe players, and a better future for Zimbabwe cricket. Good wished from a Pak fan.

Posted by Anti_ZCFOutkast on (August 26, 2013, 13:34 GMT)

Dark times in Zimbabwe cricket for sure. Hopefully Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza can find some form; not sure how we will fill the void left by Kyle Jarvis. I just hope Andy Waller is free to choose the best team, unlike his predecessor Alan Butcher. Hard to coach when you have players thrust upon you (such as Maruma) who just aren't up to the standard required.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

It's unfortunate to see Zimbawe cricket like this. There were times when we expected fair competition from this team. If we see there are still a lot of Zimbawean talent all around the world, there is sincear need to merge that talent in a team. As a cricket fan I want to see this team to be a good part of international calendar.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Sohaib Maqsood and Zulfaqar Babar should be in the team (not just in the Squad) in

place of Asad Shafiq and Abdul Rehman

Posted by Jda123 on (August 26, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

Will be an interesting game, Pakistan will need the top bowlers out because the ones they had in T20 were poor, Asad Ali shouldn't be selected but because Misbah is captain he will be, Rehman should be playing also.

Sohaib Maqsood should have a chance but I don't think he was included in the ODI squad.

Sohail > Shafiq, Shafiq has shown he isn't an ODI batsman

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (August 26, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

why the hell isn't Sohaib Maqsood in the one day team ? he is an agreesive batsmen and a useful off break bowler. Pak selectors and Misbah are a bunch of jokers.

Posted by JustIPL on (August 26, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

Not only Zim but any other team will struggle against the Pakistani attack as did West Indies who have much better team all IPL stars. The best chance for them was to win against young indian team but against any experience top ranked team they are bound to falter.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

haris sohail should in for asad shafiq/umar amin Anwer sholud be in for Asad Ali/Abdur Rehman

Posted by   on (August 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

probably,the worst phase that a national team could face.I think Jarvis should come back into the team.time for players to show some character and put up a good fight.good luck guys....

Posted by house_of_stone on (August 26, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

Looks like another thorough hiding is on its way. I saw some of the highlights against Pakistan in the T20's and if that is the best we are going to be able to muster then Gold help us. Disillusioned players and supporters, do not hold out much hope for a country that could once punch well above its weight. Need something special from Taylor, Williams and Sibanda, the only batsmen I rate in this present team. On the bowling front I hope Vitori is able to pull one out the hat because the other bowlers are club level at best. All the best though I hope u prove me wrong.

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