Makoni still chief selector

HARARE - Givemore Makoni will chair the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) selection panel meeting this afternoon to choose the squad to face India in a home series that begins on Friday at Harare Sports Club.

The outgoing convener of selectors will superintend the selection panel which comprises Zimbabwe coach Dav Whatmore, bowling coach Douglas Hondo and limited overs captain Elton Chigumbura.

Last month, Makoni was re-deployed to the post of director development and club cricket but will continue in his role as national convener of selectors until the ZC board selects a new candidate.

“We are sitting down tomorrow to trim the team from the current squad of 19 that is training to just 15 players,” Makoni told the Daily News yesterday.

“I’m the director, game development and club cricket; that’s my new role. At the moment I’m still the convenor until the board meets.”

India rested the majority of their first team players including MS Dhoni, ODI captain promoting talk that the tourists are not taking the tour seriously.

Dhoni also missed the tour of Zimbabwe two years ago due to a hamstring injury prompting Virat Kohli to lead the Indian side during the tour.

“They have picked a lot of guys that have been in and out of the team and a lot of these guys were playing in the IPL so it’s not a weak side at all,” said Makoni.

“They have done that before, when they toured Zimbabwe where they rested a couple of guys and ended up losing the series here so I’m sure we can repeat the same.

“India as far as I’m concerned are taking these games seriously because losing this series affects them on the rankings as well.

“It’s a serious series as far as I’m concerned, they have indicated that they are taking the games seriously just that they are exposing their next batch of players which is normal with any Test-playing nation.”

This will be Zimbabwe’s first home series after returning from a controversial tour of Pakistan in May where they lost all matches.

“Going by our performance in Pakistan I think we have got a team that can compete. We competed in all the matches that we played. A lot of the games came close but obviously our fielding let us down,” said Makoni.

“So it’s mainly fielding that we have to make a big difference. If we take our catches then we are going to win the matches.

“The batting looks very solid, the bowling; obviously the guys struggled in Pakistan but it had to do well with the conditions.

“Gaddafi Stadium is one of the flattest wickets in the world so the bowlers from both sides struggled.

“We are hoping in our own conditions they will perform better and cause a serious upset. We have a big chance of winning this tour, if we take care of the little things we should be able to win.”

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