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Zimbabwe's chief selector blames batsmen

Zimbabwe's batsmen were to blame for the recent 4-0 one-day series defeat by England, according to Macsood Ebrahim, the head of the selection committee.

"The batting was the most disappointing department of the team, and of the four matches there was only one match in which we achieved that, the third match in which they made 230," Ebrahim told the Harare-based Daily Herald. "Before the start of the series we had set a target of getting 200 consistently and then move to 230-250 but we only managed to meet the minimum target once in the series.

"It was a poor series and we expected much better than that. The problem that we are facing at the moment is that there are only two batsmen who are consistent in scoring runs, Dion Ebrahim and Tatenda Taibu. Elton Chigumbura has been chipping in with some big scores but has struggled to be consistent.

"There is need for at least five players to score runs consistently and that way you stand a chance of winning matches," he continued. "The fielding was also disappointing with a number of chances, run outs and catches, going begging in all the four matches."

Ebrahim admitted that the bowling lacked experience, and that their one more-seasoned player, Douglas Hondo, disappointed. He added that he would have liked to have been able to pick Heath Streak. "We would have selected him if he was available given the experience that he has. But we have to focus on what we have and not what we don't have."

Ebrahim said that the forthcoming Bangladesh tour, when Zimbabwe return to the Test fold after a nine-month absence, was not daunting, despite Michael Vaughan's comments at the weekend regarding the team's inexperience. "I'm sure that the team is ready," he told the Herald. "The bowling has shown the potential to take 20 wickets in Tests and the batting now needs two or three players who are willing to spend time at the crease."

On a separate selection matter, Cricinfo has been informed that Stephen Mangongo has been stood down as a selector, but Zimbabwe Cricket was not available for comment. Until August, Mangongo was the chief selector. He was replaced by Ebrahim at the board's AGM.