Five Things Learned About Zimbabwe from their T20I series against Afghanistan

Sikandar Raza against Afghanistan during their Abu Dhabi Sunshine Series

Zimbabwe have some hard work to do in the T20 format. Zimbabwe continued their dismal run in the T20 internationals against Afghanistan as they lost the recent Abu Dhabi Sunshine Series 3-0 during their Zimbabwe Chevrons Afghanistan Tour 2021.

Here are five things we learned about Zimbabwe:

  1. Big hitters necessary: Zimbabwe doesn’t seem to understand this format very well. Aside from Ryan Burl the rest of the batters were scared of going the aerial route missing out on deliveries that should have gotten the treatment. It is not clear what the issues, but Zimbabwe’s batters are scared of this format.
  2. Fitness is a big issue: When you look at how many fumbles there were on the boundaries and so forth, you can see the problem. Also add the few times bowlers took dives to stop fours or make catches. Compare that to the Afghanistan boundary riders who pick up a ball and throw it in one move. That needs fitness. Being fit also means you play less loose shots than when you are not. And, boy, did Zimbabwe have many of those.
  3. The youngsters missed out here: Coach Lalchand Rajput said Wessly Madhevere is going through a phase. Understandable when you realise what he has done before. In the absence of seniors like Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine, the youngsters did not take it to the head and show they are ready for this stage. That said, neither did many of the seniors and it was shocking how poor Richmond Mutumbami, a bully in domestic cricket, was weirdly timid. For a veteran of close to 30 matches, that is not good enough.
  4. Bowling inconsistency: While some of the big hitting can be credited to outstanding play by Afghani players, much has to be said about how average he bowling was at times. Having at least two overs per match going for 20 each was simply not good enough. There was also a shocking amount of wides in the first match, which meant Zimbabwe bowled more than 22 overs if you count those balls. Something has to be done about this sort of inconsistency or else it will be a mess
  5. Play more T20 cricket: Game management is key in this format. We have mentioned some of the issues we picked up. Sure, coach Rajput mentioned that there was simply not enough time to move from one format to the next after the test, but if one has played a lot of games in T20, at domestic and international level, then they will understand how the format works easily. It just does not seem as if these players do.[1]



References

  1. [1], 3-MOB, Published: 22 March, 2021, Accessed: 23 March, 2021