Zim bowlers disappoint on Day One

HARARE - The first day was a disappointing day all-round, with Bangladesh's batsmen getting off to promising starts, but then throwing their wickets away like confetti at a wedding, while Zimbabwe's bowlers looked flat and without energy or enthusiasm.

This comes as a surprise, given that Zimbabwe had an extra day off in which to fully recover, and yet, the bowlers and fielders looked jaded and lethargic.

Bangladesh will undoubtedly be very disappointed with the top four who showed signs of not only digging in, but scoring at a good rate.

But a combination of rash shots and poor running meant that Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan had to abandon all thoughts of positive play in order to rebuild the innings which threatened to derail when the Tigers found themselves at 125-4.

And rebuild is exactly what they did as they went about restoring the partnership in a most impressive manner. Picking off the bad balls, and running hard between the wickets, saw the two experienced campaigners add 123 for the fifth wicket before Elton Chigumbura's golden arm removed Shakib for a polished 81.

Bangladesh had their fair share of luck in day one with a number of chances going down, as well as several close calls between the wickets, but in all fairness, the visitors have deserved all the luck that has come their way.

It all started off with a number of accommodation problems which thankfully have been smoothed over and sorted out, as well as a lack of preparation leading up to the Test series.

The team arrived a week before the first Test, and were unable to have a practice match which would have helped the team acclimatise to the Zimbabwean conditions, and it was also very noticeable that the tourists had very little assistance in the form of net bowlers, which is the responsibility of the home nation.

Should this not be the responsibility of the head coach to assist and provide net bowlers in the spirit of the game and sportsmanship? I very clearly and distinctly remember the head coach or at least a liaison officer not only offering Zimbabwe net bowlers, but also enquiring as to what type of bowlers they would prefer.

Would they prefer pace or spin, and in particular left arm spin?

Another talking point is the selection of Regis Chakabva.

Chakabva is still recovering from a broken finger, and, yet finds himself playing in a Test match.

Chakabva was included after Timycen Maruma was unfortunate enough to injury himself in a net session.

Surely the selection of Chakabva is a questionable one: He is still recovering from an injury.

He hardly set the world alight when Zimbabwe toured the West Indies with the bat or the gloves.

There is a left-handed batsman from the Matabeleland Tuskers who has been very poorly treated.

Sean Williams did nothing wrong in the Test he played against the West Indies.

On the contrary, he probably looked the best of the middle order batsmen on that tour. And yet he finds himself carrying the drinks.

The question is why?

It is no secret that Williams has had many disciplinary problems, but he has been picked and therefore should be playing given his form in the last Test against the West Indies.

There was a selection blunder when Timycen Maruma was picked as an opener in the first Test, and sadly that blunder has not been corrected with the selection of Chakabva.

If Chakabva was fit enough to be picked as a batsman, he surely should have been keeping wicket instead of Richmond Mutumbami, who looks a little lost at the highest level.

The fact that Bangladesh have been able to score more than 300 runs in one day, would already have dented the confidence of Zimbabwe and they will have to show great character and determination on day two, should they still have hopes of making the series 2-0. - Dean du Plessis

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