Zimbabwe news December 17, 2010

Zimbabwe need to toughen up - Flower

ESPNcricinfo staff

A lack of mental toughness and an inability to deal with high-pressure situations are Zimbabwe's major weaknesses, according to their batting coach Grant Flower. Flower, who made a brief comeback to international cricket during a tour to South Africa in October, accompanied the team to Bangladesh on his first overseas tour since taking up the coaching role.

Zimbabwe won the first one-day international at Mirpur by nine runs but then capitulated against Bangladesh's left-arm spinners to slip to a 3-1 series defeat. Abdur Razzak was the chief destroyer, picking up 13 wickets - including a haul of 5 for 30 in the second game.

"Look, there are guys who have played a lot of cricket in this team," Flower told The Times of India. "There's no longer any excuse of inexperience. I think the guys need to toughen up a bit. They need to deal with the pressure a lot better. Look, it's a balance between technique and the mental side. I think it's the mental aspect we need to work on."

Flower added that Zimbabwe's success at the World Cup, which begins in February, will depend upon their ability to adapt to what are likely to be similarly spin-friendly pitches in India and Sri Lanka. As well as a pre-tournament trip to Dubai in order to acclimatise to subcontinental conditions, Flower suggested that wickets suited to slow bowlers would be prepared in Zimbabwe's domestic season, which is currently underway.

"When our domestic season resumes in January, we will try to practice on turning wickets," he said. "We will prepare turning wickets in our local competitions. We are also going to have a training camp in Dubai for 10 days in early February before the World Cup. Hopefully we will have conditions similar to India and Sri Lanka."

Flower also said that he was looking forward to working with Brian Lara, who has agreed to a batting consultancy contract and will work with the national side ahead of the World Cup and a tabled return to Test cricket in a home series against Bangladesh in May next year.

"I have never worked with him before so I'm looking forward to it. He is one of the world's best batsmen, but it doesn't mean he will be the best coach. I might learn something from him. I hope I will."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 24, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    The problem is making Chigumbura captain, does that make any sense. Look he is a fully fledged allrounder... he's already got enough on his plate, he no more opens the bowling, and is now to tentative and cautious with his batting because he has the burden of responsibility. give the captaincy to Taibu!! or Sean Ervine

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    The 30 man pprovisional squad was announced. however the 15 to go are almost already guaranteed. the team will probably have 5 bowlers, 5 allrounders and 5 batsmen. bowlers- price, utseya, mpofu, lamb, cremer. allrounders - williams, chibhabha, dabengwa, chigumbura, s ervine. batsmen - taylor, taibu, c ervine, chakabva, h masakadza. the other guys like duffin, panyangara, rainsford, mupariwa, ncube, maruma, meth and mawoyo have not done enough to be in the team. and the other guys are on the slide downwards like sibanda and coventry. meth and nicolson cannot take wickets and s masakadza is expensive ( even with a good slower ball). but look out for mutizwa maybe for h masakaza, mushangwe for cremer ( because he has been expensive of late). spin is king in sub-continent and our ppace is not so good so 4/5 specialist bowlers will be spin.

  • Noxa on December 21, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    Nice to see Sean Ervine back!

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    sakindar razzak hasnt got his permanent residence papers as yet.that is why he's not in the squard.but on a brighter note,sean ervine is back in the squard.so yeh,some dead wood is surely making its way out

  • Sam on December 20, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    I wonder if all these pple giving their comments have ever attempted playing the game of cricket! Its not easy and I can tell u this. I agree with Campbell, this is the best we have and all we need to do is give them support and work extra hard. If I was Campbell I wud drop Chigumbura and let Masakadza bat at 4. Utseya is doing well he is now more of an allrounder. The whole world know that BT is bad news on his day- it unfortunate he doesn't have much support from his fellow batsmen.

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Shame on all our players and those responsible for the game in Zim for citing lack of experience as the cause of our poor record in the past 7years. Honestly a player with over 100 ODI's can not claim to be still learning the rope of the game! For how long will you continue to say the guys are on a "learning curve" and will improve with a few more games?! Cambell please cut the dead wood and bring on new talent, there are a lot of school boys within our country playing better cricket than the guys you keep selecting and not bring any pride to our nation as a whole. Yes how the team performs has a greater baring on the nation than it did say 10 years ago. cricket in zim is now the second most popular sport after soccer, so Mr.Cambell please salvage whatever pride there is left for Zim as a cricketing nation and do the right thing by letting go a few of our so called "big-names" in our side that continue to win caps on performances the made on debeut such as a fluke 100.

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    A few positive from the recent tour to Bangl, craig ervine a useful batsman,chris mfofu as come of age now he is now effective but needs some to share the new ball with , some flashs of brilliance in kegan Meth to share with mfofu. Ryan Butterworth is unfortunate not o have been given a debut match no sure if he will make it in the WC final squad he looks like a match winner, if he is to go shld be used as a wild card. I agree we need a quality captain for Zim chigumbura lacks imagination. Well done to Bangla for a all round performance with both bat and ball.

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Please tsomeone tell me why isnt Sakinder Razza not being selected ???He has been in Zimbabwe for a long time now and he is now eligible to play in Zim's colours,Coventry is also underated he is a better player than Hami ,Justice,and all the other useless batsmen in that team and also Sean Williams is just having problems with form but he is a very good player,,And can someone tell me the logic of playing Keith Dabengwa a player who has more than 50 odis and has never scored a half century??Please there is need for a top order overhaul if we are to produce better results,

  • Mcknamara on December 18, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    Whre iz Razza Butt inc him in Zim top order batting & drop Hamilton.Ryan Butterworth is also a possible candidate as he z good with both the bat & ball

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    I am too supporting the idea of World Cup comeback for Grant Flower

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