Zimbabwe bank on Bangla experience to do well in World Cup

Updated: Feb 10, 2011, 19:12 PM IST

Chennai: Making their eighth World Cup appearance, Zimbabwe would be banking on their recent exposure trip to the sub-continent – Bangladesh - and West Indian legend Brian Lara`s inputs to stand them in good stead, in the forthcoming quadrennial event.

Zimbabwean coach Alen Butcher and captain Elton Chigumbura admitted that the side has been in a rebuilding phase after some poor results but exuded confidence ahead of showpiece event starting February 19 in Dhaka.

The African nation has been grouped with Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Canada and Kenya in Group A and will play its first match against defending champions Australia on February 21 at Ahmadabad.

"Most of our players had played in Bangladesh where the conditions are similar to India. They have experience. We had also played in Dubai where they tried to simulate Indian wickets.

We try to play as best as we can play. If we can play five out of six games as per our plans and target, that will represent a good step forward for the team. We haven`t put any target on reaching the quarterfinals," said Butcher, a former England batsman.

"We have had good training in Dubai. Guys are ready to exert themselves in the World Cup," Chigumbura told reporters at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here ahead of their warm-up match against South Africa on February 12.

On Lara`s stint as a consultant with the team, the skipper said, "It helped us a lot. He shared his experience with us. It was more to do with the batting aspect of the side. Hopefully we will be able to put it into practice."

Asked whether the absence of fast bowlers would put them at a disadvantage, Butcher said it was not the case as the medium-pacers can do the job in the prevailing conditions.

"We have to get enough runs on board so that our bowlers
can do their job."

He also said that Zimbabwe will be a force to reckon with
in the World Cup.

"We are in the process of a turnaround. The team has gone through a period of poor results. Obviously lot needs to be done before we can say that we are back at the level. I think there is every cause to think that can happen. There is a lot of talent in the country. At the moement everyone is working hard not only at this level but in first class," he added.

PTI