Zimbabwe can upset Australia under certain conditions: coach

Posted By: Pti
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Ahmedabad, Feb 20 (PTI) Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher todaysaid with certain conditions favouring them, the African teamcan upset the three-time defending champions Australia intheir World Cup opener here tomorrow.

"They have four quicks and we have a fair idea how theybowl. If we play our best cricket and they don''t, we may havea chance. But if we play to our best and Australia also playat their best we probably won''t have a chance," Butcher saidahead of his squad''s inaugural tie at the Motera ground.

Butcher''s admission might look as a defeatist attitude,but going by past records it''s clear who, between the two, isthe favourite to win the game. In 27 head-to-head meetings,the Aussies have emerged victorious on 25 occasions with oneno result.

The only occasion Zimbabwe bested Australia,significantly, was in the 1983 World Cup in England atNottingham. Australia hold a 7-1 edge in Cup play between thetwo countries.

Team captain Elton Chigumbara said that his team has tobe at its best to compete well against the three-timedefending champions.

"We have trained over the last four to five weeks. Weneed to play our best cricket. Everyone needs to play the role(assigned to him). Everyone is confident," the Zimbabweskipper said.

Butcher said his team''s strategy would be to try and foxthe free-stroking Australian batsmen, suspected to be a bitweak against slow bowlers, with a spin-oriented attack and therivals also know what awaits them.

"We are focused. We know spinners, by and large, are ourbest bowlers. That''s going to be our strategy and Australiansalso know it. There''s a big chance of a spinner opening thebowling. But we have to bowl well," he said.

The Englishman also admitted that Zimbabwe would need tokeep down the Australian score to less than 300 to entertainchances of chasing it successfully.

"300 to 320 would be difficult," he said.

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