Welcome to the real world

HARARE - Zimbabwe are on the eve of hosting India in five ODIs and have just concluded a three-day match against a very competent Australian A team which boasts many fringe and former international players.

When looking at the outcome of the match, ones first and natural reaction is to go on the warpath, but, it may be a better idea to take a bit of time out, and really think it through before becoming angry.

The pitch at Country club was a typical country club pitch which had a bit of everything in it.

Assistance for the pace bowlers, and, if you picked the right ball, you could also play your shots.

Australia A batsmen most certainly did not have matters their own way either, thanks to some outstanding bowling by each and every bowler who was picked to do his job.

Kyle Jarvis continues to impress with the red ball, while his fellow seamers Tendai Chatara, Mike Chinouya and Elton Chigumbura consistently put the ball in good areas, and induced the powerful Australian A batters into playing rush shots.

One worry, and it is a very big worry, was the failure of the top order in both innings.

Vusi Sibanda, Razza But, and Brendan Taylor all missed out, which must surely be a worry for Andrew Waller, just days before the all important series gets underway at Harare Sports Club.

But, there have been a great deal of positives to talk about in this warm-up match, the bowlers bowled with a combination of aggression and intelligence, in the sense that they never got carried away by the assistance the pitch had to offer.

It is so easy to get caught up and get carried away when a fast bowler sees a pitch that has pace and bounce.

So, they tend to bowl too short as they look for the extra bounce and get pulled and hooked.

Or, sometimes when touring England for example, seamers tend to over pitch and get driven down the ground as they try to look for movement.

But, the bowlers were generally spot on.

They simply stuck to their plans by hitting good areas, and reaped the rewards by doing so.

It would have been nice if Australia A could have come a bit earlier, and played a few more games, not only for the batters to get some much needed time out in the middle, but, it would also have been good for Waller to have let his entire squad play.

Even so, one cannot complain. Although Zimbabwe's batters were similar to rabbits been caught in the spotlight, the team thankfully were able to play a good game of cricket against a team boasting some seriously talented batters, and genuine fast bowlers.

So in short, Zimbabwe are back in the real world again, having faced a baptism of fire, but, at the same time acquitted themselves admirably in the field.

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