United they?ll stand...

  • Pat Symcox, PTI
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 05, 2003 23:54 IST

Andy flower is the key man in the team and with some talented players around him, Zimbabwe are quite capable of causing an upset against a major team. This happened in the 1999 World Cup when they beat their neighbours South Africa.

Although Flower has an average of over 50 in Test cricket and was named Wisden's Cricketer of the Year in 2002, he will need some support from his brother Grant and seasoned campaigners like Guy Whittall and Craig Wishart.

Like most minnow teams in the competition, a good start by the top order will be a pre-requisite for any success. Tatenda Taibu is an exciting prospect and Travis Friend can be very inventive at the end of an innings. Dion Ebrahim will be asked to anchor the innings.

Heath Streak is back as captain and will bowl his seamers with the usual accuracy. He will however, require some backup to curtail quality batsmen even on his home pitches.

Olonga has some pace and can get the best out on his day, but more often than not is far too expensive. Murphy is not the worst spinner but would need to settle into a rhythm early or pay the price that most leggies do when they bowl loosely.

When one analyses the Pool, Zimbabwe really aren't favourites to beat the likes of Pakistan, India, Australia and England. No doubt the "big guns" of the Pool will be hoping like crazy that Zimbabwe beat one of their opposition. On current form, Zimbabwe will feel they have a chance of beating India in Harare on 19 February.

The danger for the teams in this Pool is not to become too engrossed in focusing totally on the big name teams and then forgetting to prepare against the likes of Zimbabwe, who will easily beat Namibia.

With all the internal pressures that have gone before this team, don't be surprised if they come out as unit totally united with a point to prove, and do exactly that. (TCM)

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