NATIONAL cricket team captain Elton Chigumbura has backed his charges to roll back the years and progress beyond the group stage of the Cricket World Cup for the third time in their history at the global tournament.
Zimbabwe has progressed beyond the round-robin stage at a World Cup only twice in 1999 and 2003.
However, Chigumbura — who has played at two World Cup campaigns in 2007 and 2011 — believes having struggled to make an impact in the recent past, everything is well set for the team to succeed at this year’s tournament.
The team is expected to depart for the tournament to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand today.
Chigumbura’s comments come after new coach Davenell “Dav” Whatmore declared his intentions of leading the team to the Super Eight soon after his appointment as Zimbabwe coach last month.
Zimbabwe are in Pool B with holders India, Pakistan, South Africa, Ireland, the West Indies and the United Arab Emirates. They need to beat the two minnows and upset one of the big teams to progress to the Super Eight.
“The target is three wins and we know we are good enough to achieve that,” Chigumbura said on the sidelines of a farewell function held in the capital yesterday.
“We are in a tough group and we can’t take any of the teams lightly. It will be tough, but we are optimistic and confident.”
The 28-year-old all-rounder said he was happy with the good form shown by batsmen after they scored some confidence-boosting runs in the domestic Pro-50 Championship.
“The guys applied themselves well and have been working hard,” he said.
“We just need to go there and polish up. We have five matches before the World Cup starts. I was impressed with the way the batsmen performed in the domestic Pro-50 Championship. They showed they are the best lot we have in the country and I hope they will carry on that form the the World Cup.”