Kenyon Ziehl, Zimbabwe's convener of selectors, has urged temperance and patience in the wake of the side's 131-run defeat to Pakistan and narrow losses in the preceding T20 series.

Ziehl insisted that while Zimbabwe would keep blooding new players through this series and the upcoming ones against Ireland and Afghanistan, a wholesale change of personnel would help no one despite the fact that Zimbabwe have won only two ODIs and one T20I this year.

"We're looking at some younger players coming in, but we can't discard our senior players all at once," said Ziehl. "We need youth and experience. We need youth to be part of the team and the camp, and to get games as we see fit. The senior players have all performed in the past. They've still got the experience. At the moment, they're out of form. They're not performing. So we will review that. We'll look at our next game coming up."

Batsman Vusi Sibanda was discarded by Zimbabwe before this series, though he will captain Zimbabwe A against Ireland in a four-day match at the end of the month, while Prosper Utseya lost his place to offspinner John Nyumbu for the first ODI due to poor bowling form. Utseya has also been downgraded from a Central to a B Grade contract.

"There are a couple of players who have stood down," added Ziehl. "I'm not going to mention names but you know the players. It's in the process. Nothing will happen overnight, and younger players do need gradual exposure and experience at this level. This level is top quality and we will have games against Ireland and Afghanistan where younger and new players can have more of a chance to show what they can do.

"But you need that experience to play international cricket. To just throw them in the deep end, in cricket or in any business or organisation, is a tough task. They need confidence and to be able to build up experience. Although our senior players have failed, we have looked at that and that's why there are changes happening, now and in the future."

Zimbabwe handed Matabeleland Tuskers opening batsman Brian Chari an ODI debut in this game, while 20-year-old allrounder Luke Jongwe is also back in the frame after a spell out of the game due to injury. Jongwe made his debut against South Africa last year, while Chari was briefly drafted into the side during their disastrous tour to Bangladesh last November.

"As you can see, we've changed some personnel," said Ziehl. "Brian has played his first game today, which was fantastic, and he certainly did all right. He held his own. It was his first one-day game and it's very tough batting against a quality side like Pakistan. We've got other youngsters who are in the wings. Although the personnel is there, they are waiting in the wings.

"I think it's up to the players to execute on the field. We've done a lot of groundwork, we've prepared mentally and physically. The coach has backed the boys. He's spoken with them, he's been compassionate, he's come down hard on them when they've failed. He's got all the credentials there but you can do as much as you can and it's still up to the players when you cross the rope to get onto the field. They've got to execute."

The ODI defeat had Zimbabwe's local media clamouring for changes, and fans also took to social media to vent their opinions.

"Shame on you Chevrons!" said the H-Metro. "The question that begged for answers among the few fans that watched Zimbabwe collapse to a 131-run loss to Pakistan at Harare Sports Club yesterday was: when will this misery end?" asked the Zimbabwe Independent. "It was supposed to get better for the Zimbabwe national cricket team in their pursuit of a win against Pakistan yesterday, but somehow - and everyone is still trying to figure out how - it got worse," Kevin Mapasure said in Newsday.

"Poor Chevrons sink to another defeat" read The Herald's headline, with the story bemoaning the fact that Zimbabwe "terribly lost their way as they were defeated by more runs than they put on the board ... " The Daily News outlined a "Poor start for Zim", while Dean Du Plessis' column in the same newspaper suggested that Pakistan's spinners were "simply too good" for Zimbabwe on a slow, low wicket.

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town