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India descends on Bulawayo

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ZIMBABWE has already lost the series against India. No one was under illusion that it was going to be any different given the fact that India has basically won everything put before them and Zimbabwe, well, have not. It was unrealistic to expect any different than the one-sided affairs so far. Really, why not?

Report by Vumi Moyo

On The Crease will like to take you back three years ago when a young Indian team toured Zimbabwe for a tri-series with Sri Lanka. The team is basically the same team that is here now. The only difference is that Suresh Raina was the captain at that time. India won only one match out of their four group matches and was eliminated. Sri Lanka eventually beat Zimbabwe in the final.

The point to all this is, either India is doing something very right, or we are doing something very wrong. The same Indian team with the addition of one superstar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has won everything there is to win in coloured clothing yet we still struggle to be taken seriously in the cricket-world!
Why have players like Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja developed into world-class players, yet the Zimbabwe players appear to be stagnant or in some cases, getting worse? Zimbabwe seem to lack the ability to build on success. The recent showing against Bangladesh had left many thinking Zimbabwe was on top of their game. They have never expected to beat the top teams in the world, but is it unrealistic to expect tighter matches, especially in home conditions?

Shikar Dharwan has been a revelation in the recent past, but give any batsman two chances and they should score a hundred.

Zimbabwe doesn’t have an attack that will scare too many batsmen around the world and you would expect the few chances created to be taken. India is a really good team, but no matter who you play, the basics must remain the same. Catches win matches. A wise coach once said it is better to fail to execute a good plan than to execute a bad one.

It has not been easy to figure out if the top order is trying to see off the new ball, or make use of the power play. Come on Zimbabwe, it is time to show some pride! This is the same team you beat four years ago. World champions is just a tag.

 Cricket is a funny old game. After the IPL, who would have ever thought Chris Gayle would be wondering where his next run is going to come from? Struggling to negotiate the new ball outside his off stump, he was eventually sent down the order for the last two one-day internationals (ODIs) without too much success.

The entire Caribbean thought the big man would come good in the shortest format of the game, but he was out for less than five in both innings. On The Crease wishes Gayle a speedy recovery. Cricket is not quite the same without him in form. As predicted last week, West Indies lost their second consecutive series at home, this time to Pakistan.

 South Africa has found the going tough in Sri Lanka historically. History teaches us the more things change, the more they remain the same. At least the Proteas won the third match to keep the series alive. A spectacular second wicket stand between Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan ensured Sri Lanka wrapped up the series with a match to spare.

Moment of the series, in game three, Proteas’ spinner Robin Peterson was taken for 35 in an over by Thisara Perera. The over is the second most expensive in ODI history. Five sixes, one four and a no ball for good measure! Well bowled Peterson, thanks for coming mate!

 The Zimbabwe women’s quest for Twenty20 World qualification is over after they lost all their group matches. Zimbabwe found something to smile about in the Plate semi-final as they beat Japan by three wickets with 24 balls to spare. On The Crease hopes this experience will help equip the young women for future assignments as most of them have age on their side. Let’s meet at Queens today and Saturday and give our boys all the support they need.

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