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Mangongo threatens to drop Zimbabwe seniors

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 1, 2014

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Vusi Sibanda walks back after scoring 54, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Harare, August 27, 2013
Stephen Mangongo: "We will not hesitate to chop dead wood and we will not hesitate to unleash raw genuine talent if experience fails us." © AFP
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Stephen Mangongo, the Zimbabwe head coach, has said that he is ready to drop senior players if their experience does not translate into improved results for the team. Zimbabwe lost successive ODIs at home to Associate side Afghanistan in July and their A team went down to Afghanistan A in a four-day match.

Vusi Sibanda, one of Zimbabwe's most experienced players, was dropped after the first ODI against Afghanistan, and Mangongo said "bold" decisions needed to be made following years of disappointment.

"We have underperformed for a long time and the time has come for us to be bold and make the right decisions," Mangongo told the Zimbabwe Independent. "We will not hesitate to chop dead wood and we will not hesitate to unleash raw genuine talent if experience fails us.

"Each player will be held accountable for his roles, and the day you do not execute your role well I will look elsewhere. I would rather have young hungry talent learning than to have the experienced players continuously underperforming. The current group of players has played against all cricket nations in the world, but some of their performances do not show."

Mangongo, who is known to be a tough taskmaster, said he had resolved to make Zimbabwe a more consistent unit. "It's a challenge for us to lift the team again, but it is one I am looking forward to and excited about. I will demand a lot but I will also be pragmatic. We should thrash Associate members and we should surprise teams ranked above us. We have been too inconsistent and I have taken it upon myself to turn it all around. First the administration has to play its part and then the main actors, the players, have all the work to do."

Zimbabwe will host South Africa for a Test and three ODIs later this month after which Australia will join the sides for a one-day tri-series. Zimbabwe will then tour Bangladesh for three Tests and five ODIs. Mangongo said he wanted to create a team that competed even against big sides such as Australia and South Africa.

"We are on the same page with the selectors and with the Zimbabwe A coach, so we want to widen the pool of talent to choose from," he said. "But the guys that have been playing regularly will be given a fair chance. What we want is to produce a winning team not a team that continues to disappoint its fans.

"Even when we play giants like South Africa and Australia, it should not be a foregone conclusion; they should know that when they come here they will play some tough cricket. This is a good opportunity for us to play good cricket consistently and the players are all excited about it. When we win against Bangladesh no one cares but when we beat Pakistan the world took notice. So when we play Australia and South Africa it's a rare opportunity for us to show the world that we can play cricket and prove our doubters wrong."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Reggaecricket on (August 2, 2014, 1:05 GMT)

It is sad to see Zimbabwe, a Test playing nation,one which has had a rich history of playing Cricket since the days of Rhodesia, losing so consistently to a team like Afghanistan. It seems to me that they have many young emerging players, but what is it that none have managed to reach their true potential in the international arena? Perhaps they need a high quality foreign coach?

Posted by Gowza on (August 1, 2014, 22:31 GMT)

Zimbabwe have lost a lot of good players over the last few years, otherwise they could have a decent team with anthony ireland, the ervine brothers, jarvis etc even murray goodwin would probably do better for them at this stage. hopefully they can move forward and get back to being a good team.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2014, 17:33 GMT)

All well and good I suppose, you'd be hesitant to see too many heads roll though if the match against the Afghan A team is anything to judge by. It may just be that the raw talent loses by an even greater margin. Sibanda aside I don't really see that they have any established players that consistently under perform anyway? To be honest I think there needs to be more carrot right now and less stick, how about paying the guys and keep the FC competition running for a whole season? I'm thinking that would do more to help improve results than culling players. If anything ZC is the under performer here and what happens on the ground is simply what most people would expect given the circumstances.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

Agree with Grahaam. The only dead wood are the administrators that have overseen the drain of talent from Zim over the past 10-12 years. Nobody has been held accountable for the amount of players (and coaches) who have left or been forced to leave. They haven't under achieved at all, the remaining players (with the exception of 1 or 2) just aren't good enough

Posted by blakhole12 on (August 1, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

Will raw talent manage against Steyn @ Co. or A.B.D & Co.?

Posted by   on (August 1, 2014, 14:02 GMT)

Am from Pakistan but a very big fan of Zimbabwe cricket team in my opinion if selectors can recall experienced players like Stuart Matsikanery Justice Chibababa and Charles Conventory it would be better for them before the world cup

Posted by grahaam on (August 1, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

Heard it all before , the only the only people chopped from Zimbabwe Cricket have been very much " live" wood. Its not the fault of the current players that their mentors have long gone!!!

Posted by Nduru on (August 1, 2014, 12:30 GMT)

You can almost feel the players from other teams shaking in their boots at the threat of Mangongo to "unleash" all that raw talent we have in Zimbabwe on the world. Oh wait, we already did: If Zim cricket was still up to scratch WE would have the likes of Gary Ballance and Colin De Grandhomme, Sean Ervine, Tatenda Taibu and all the rest in our team. Instead, the only youngster with potential is Jongwe and he has no proper senior players or coaches left to mentor him now that Streak and Flower have been hounded out and our coach has the Prince Edward first XI as his template for how cricket is played.

Posted by zim87 on (August 1, 2014, 12:27 GMT)

My zim XI v SA

tino, hammy, verms, bt, Sean, raza, richy, shingie, natsai, chatara and panyangara..

No dead wood in that XI

Posted by and1son on (August 1, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

Mangongo may be a devisive figure but he's right. At the board level people like Manase need to go. At the playing level people like Maruma should not be playing for Zim. Then players need to be picked according to the format they excel in. some can play all formats and some can't.

S Masakadza (poor economy), Sibanda (too many zero scores and poor average), Chakabva (no international 50) etc should only be called up for tests as they have failed too much in limited overs.

I think they should also consider the depth chart mentality used in the NFL for competition eg one wicketkeeper will play so Mutumbami, Chakabva and Mutizwa for example have to outplay each other. Only two openers so Masakadza, Raza, Mawoyo, Kasuza and Sibanda have to outplay each other and the list goes on for spinners, allrounders, middle order batsmen and pace bowlers.

Players will not like him but he will remove the timid approach some of them have learned of being afraid to lose rather than wanting to win

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