Butcher happy with T20 preps

HARARE - With less than a month to go before the International Cricket Council Twenty20 World Cup begins, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) team coach Alan Butcher is pleased with the squad’s preparations.

Butcher has been impressed by the effort the players are putting in training and the Englishman is confident they have worked on all their problem areas.

“Nothing in particular to be honest for the first time in a long while I thought our fielding was good during that period and we just need to fine tune everything we do and continue to work better,” Butcher said.

ZC convenor of selectors Givemore Makoni last Thursday named the final 15-man squad that will go into battle at the World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka where the team has been placed in tough Group C with South Africa and the hosts.

“The preparations have been going on very well obviously we had a six-week camp before the Twenty20 series against South Africa and Bangladesh. So far we are very pleased with the effort the players have put in through their physical preparations, the technical aspects and parts of their fielding,” Butcher said.

“I am very happy with the way the guys are progressing. I told them this morning in fact that the quality of practice sessions is so much higher now than it was 18 months or even 12 months ago which is a measure of how the guys are improving.”

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor will lead the team that comprises five seamers and three specialist spinners in the spin-friendly conditions in Sri Lanka.

Frontline bowlers Kyle Jarvis, Christopher Mpofu and Brian Vitori made the cut together with find of the season Richard Muzhange.

All-rounder Elton Chigumbura is also in the squad and will help add pace to the seamer department.

The selectors picked the experienced Raymond Price, Graeme Cremer and Prosper Utseya as the slow bowlers for the tournament.

Craig Ervine and Stuart Matsikenyeri will be up for consideration.

“The seamers definitely have a role to play, no matter how good the spinners are its difficult to bowl them in power play and in the last few overs,” Butcher explained the rationale behind including five seamers for the slow Sri Lankan wickets.

“You would hope that someone like Richard Muzhange would continue with the form he showed bowling in death overs in the last T20s while upfront the presence of pace bowling is important. Therefore bowlers like Jarvis, Mpofu and Vitori would be looked upon to make inroads into the opposition.”

Zimbabwe Twenty20 Squad

Brendan Taylor (captain), Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Raymond Price, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Richard Muzhange, Brian Vitori, Prosper Utseya, Foster Mutizwa.

Non-travelling reserves: Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Shingi Masakadza, Richmond Mutumbami, Tinotenda Mutombodzi.

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