Zimbabwe bank on Bangla experience to do well in World Cup

Written by: Pti
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Chennai, Feb 10 (PTI) Making their eighth World Cupappearance, Zimbabwe would be banking on their recent exposuretrip to the sub-continent -- Bangladesh -- and West Indianlegend Brian Lara''s inputs to stand them in good stead, in theforthcoming quadrennial event.

Zimbabwean coach Alen Butcher and captain EltonChigumbura admitted that the side has been in a rebuildingphase after some poor results but exuded confidence ahead ofshowpiece event starting February 19 in Dhaka.

The African nation has been grouped with Australia,Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Canada and Kenya in Group Aand will play its first match against defending championsAustralia on February 21 at Ahmadabad.

"Most of our players had played in Bangladesh where theconditions are similar to India. They have experience. We hadalso played in Dubai where they tried to simulate Indianwickets.

"We try to play as best as we can play. If we can playfive out of six games as per our plans and target, that willrepresent a good step forward for the team. We haven''t put anytarget on reaching the quarterfinals," said Butcher, a formerEngland batsman.

"We have had good training in Dubai. Guys are ready toexert themselves in the World Cup," Chigumbura told reportersat the M A Chidambaram Stadium here ahead of their warm-upmatch against South Africa on February 12.

On Lara''s stint as a consultant with the team, theskipper said, "It helped us a lot. He shared his experiencewith us. It was more to do with the batting aspect of theside. Hopefully we will be able to put it into practice."

Asked whether the absence of fast bowlers would put themat a disadvantage, Butcher said it was not the case as themedium-pacers can do the job in the prevailing conditions.

"We have to get enough runs on board so that our bowlerscan do their job."

He also said that Zimbabwe will be a force to reckon within the World Cup.

"We are in the process of a turnaround. The team has gonethrough a period of poor results. Obviously lot needs to bedone before we can say that we are back at the level. I thinkthere is every cause to think that can happen. There is a lotof talent in the country. At the moement everyone is workinghard not only at this level but in first class," he added.

The 15-member Zimbabwe squad, which arrived here lastnight, skipped its scheduled practice session this afternoonand will take to the nets tomorrow.

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