Mehluli Sibanda in JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
ZIMBABWE cricket team coach Lalchand Rajput has singled out leg spinner Brandon Mavuta as the biggest positive to come out from an otherwise disastrous tour of South Africa, where the Chevrons failed to win any of the matches they played.
Rajput said Mavuta was certainly the shining light during a tour where Zimbabwe lost the One Day International series 3-0 and were beaten 2-0 in the Twenty20 Internationals, with the last match washed out on Sunday saving the Chevrons from a possible whitewash in the shortest format of the game. Mavuta, whose only previous international appearance was against Australia at home in July was such a revelation, which saw him play in all the five matches in South Africa.
“One of the best positives that we can take is Brandon Mavuta, coming very good, when we came to South Africa, it was a difficult tour for us because beating South Africa in South Africa is a really tough task but I think the way we went about it, the first two ODIs we got caught up on a bad wicket but the third game I think we came a bit closer,’’ Rajput said.
The Indian was also impressed by the return to form by Sean Williams, Brendan Taylor and Peter Moor. He identified South African leg spinner Imran Tahir as the biggest difference in the series , something he described as being good for the Zimbabwean batsmen ahead of testing conditions in Bangladesh.
“There were some positives which we want to take into our next tour like batting wise, Sean Williams getting into the runs, BT getting into his form, then PJ Moor coming good in the T20s. I think the only difference was Imran Tahir bowling to us, he is one of the best leg spinners in the world and I am sure the boys have taken note of that. It was good to play Imran Tahir before going to Bangladesh where we will be getting lot of spinners,’’ he said.
Before they came to South Africa, Zimbabwe spent two months fine tuning but all that hard work failed to win them any matches in South Africa.
Having seen his players struggle against South African pace bowlers as well as Tahir’s spin, Rajput is eager to see his players come right in Bangladesh where they play the Tigers in three ODIs and two Tests.
“The plan is there to execute, hopefully the players will execute the plan better in Bangladesh, which we failed to execute here.”
Zimbabwe suffer a lot from a lot of game time and after playing five limited overs matches against quality opposition, they will certainly look to compete and win matches over Bangladesh.