Streak upbeat about Zim's bowling attack

HARARE - Zimbabwe's bowling coach Heath Streak believes the side has a good mix of pace and spin to trouble the West Indies during next month’s tour of the Caribbean.  

The Zimbabwean side will be playing in its first full series in over a year following the disastrous New Year tour of New Zealand last year, where the hosts completed a clean-sweep across all three formats of the game.

And now, Streak is hoping the bowling attack will stand the team in good stead throughout the two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals.

“I think we have a good crop of quicks and spinners,” Streak told the Daily News yesterday. “We have good options. It depends with the conditions. If the conditions are seam-friendly, we have the arsenal in (Kyle) Jarvis, (Brian) Vitori, Chris Mpofu and (Ed) Rainsford, who is back in form again. If it’s spin-oriented, we got that as well. We have upcoming spinners like Tino Mutombodzi, who is in the fold, then a guy like Natsayi Mushangwe. We have youngsters who will help your Prices, Utseyas and Cremers.”

The former national side captain also expressed his satisfaction with the pool of talent at the selectors’ disposal, hinting that non-performers from previous assignments face the axe.

“Ja, we have guys who have been pushing and a few who are coming back to form. That can help raise the bar. That’s what is needed. We need to raise competition. We have to reward those who are performing well on the domestic circuit, and hopefully one or two will come and perform well.”

Streak also clarified the issue surrounding the availability of impressive Matabeleland Tuskers seam bowler Glenn Querl, who has played sufficiently well enough over two seasons for the Logan Cup champions, to earn a maiden national team call-up.

Speculation is rife in local cricket circles that 24-year-old Harare-born right-arm medium-fast bowler, who also plays league cricket in the UK, is not keen on an international career with Zimbabwe.

“I think he was in the process of renewing his Zim passport,” Streak said. “I think he is eligible for selection, he just needed to sort out his documents. He also plays for a club in the UK. It’s now up to the selectors and administration people to sort out the admin stuff.

“He’s probably keen; obviously he earns a living playing in the UK. It’s like the soccer players in Europe, it’s a tough one, as long as they earn an income, they will come back to play. Same with Glenn. He wants an assured future. He definitely wants to play for his country.”

Querl, however, has had to live with question marks over the legitimacy of his bowling action.

“He has to undergo tests, but unfortunately there is no one qualified for that in Zim. It’s not a simple thing. You need to go to a sports science institution and gets analysed. It a decision that affects a career, so you got to do it properly.”

Zimbabwe generally struggles in alien conditions, especially at Test level, and Streak is hoping for a change of fortunes, which he says hinges on team consistency.

“Look, I thought we played reasonably well in the home Tests we played since our return,” Streak said.

“We struggled in that away Test (in New Zealand); we didn’t play well at all. Preparations are key, Guys have been playing domestic cricket, which is a good thing. We have to get there and adjust to the conditions in the Caribbean. The West Indies are currently playing good cricket, it won’t be easy. With the return of Chris Gayle, they have a good squad now.

“I think last year we did not get time to acclimatise in New Zealand, I am not making excuses. This time around, one or two injured players are coming back. On the last trip, we missed Chris Mpofu and (Graeme) Cremer, who were very much part of our plans. It affected rhythm.

“Look, when we played well and consistently, we were able to compete. That’s the key thing. When we have not been playing well, we’ve been woeful.

“We need to be consistent.”

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.