Zim attempt to find winning combinations

HARARE - The make-up of Zimbabwe’s team against New Zealand side Northern District in their first warm-up match yesterday ahead of the Cricket World Cup shows that new coach Dav Whatmore is still trying to find winning combinations, and more such tweaking of the line-up can be expected in the remaining warm-ups before the tournament begins later in the month. 

There was no lack of variation yesterday in the bowling attack in either spin or pace, quite an interesting line-up on New Zealand pitches expected to give assistance to the quicker bowlers.

Tendai Chatara and Tinashe Panyangara as expected spearheaded the

attack upfront, Sean Williams bowled his left-arm orthodox, Sikandar Raza Butt used his part-timer off-breaks, captain Elton Chigumbra introduced himself with his under-utilised seam bowling, leg-spinner Tafadzwa Kamungozi enjoyed some success in his seven overs, Prosper Utseya was expensive with his newly-found off-cutters, and Solomon Mire was not as successful with his medium pace as he was with the bat earlier on.

For a country without genuinely quick bowlers to exploit the conditions very well on tracks expected to see some seam and bounce, it seems Zimbabwe’s coaching staff is trying to make up for the deficiency by mixing up the bowling and strike some balance.

In Panyangara and Chatara we do have a good new-ball partnership, and a potentially decent spinner in Kamungozi.

Chigumbura, Mire and Tawanda Mupariwa offer the option of a third seamer. We do have an attack that has been surprisingly effective under Zimbabwean conditions, with several promising pacemen and spinners that can make life hard for international batsmen.

The World Cup will offer a new challenge.

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