Analysis is an essential part of cricket which reveals a captain or coach’s ability to evaluate situations. With the Zimbabwe cricket fraternity still searching for solutions following the 5-0 series whitewash by Sri Lanka, we complied this quotes package.
“Our guys are not smart enough in short selection and reading the situation.” Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya on his team’s batting performance.
“I think it was the best decision. The Sri Lankans would also have batted first had they won the toss. It was a nice and shiny wicket and I thought we would do well. We are obviously disappointed and feel for our fans who had come to support us. However, there are still three matches to go and we will fight on.”
An apologetic Utseya defends his decision to bat first on a slow wicket in the second ODI.
“We were always expected to struggle against their spin because those are quality bowlers. The problem is that we are losing our top batsmen too early against bowlers who apparently are not as good as we thought. So when we should be consolidating against the spinners, we are finding ourselves already trying to save the game.”
Zimbabwe coach Walter Chawaguta on the Muttiah Muralitharan/ Ajantha Mendis factor after the second ODI.
“Those first two games showed the difference in approach between the top teams and the other teams. There is definitely a lot of talent, and with experience they (Zimbabwe) will improve, but they need to be challenged as well.
“That’s one reason players get into a comfort zone. If there is no problem and competition, they like to stay in the comfort zone. There is talent, but whether they are willing to push is the question you need to ask.”
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene’s remarks on the Zimbabwe team’s lack of drive.
“When we came here we set ourselves goals. We needed to win 5-0. We did that. Yes, it wasn’t convincing, but considering the conditions and that the oppositions played well in the last three games, especially with the ball, we have to take that as an achievement. We knew it was going to be difficult to get 250 runs on this kind of wicket and we knew we could not afford to play bad shorts.
Jayawardene was not entirely satisfied despite sweeping the series 5-0.
I don’t think it’s so much to do with guys relaxing. It’s more to do with technical issues than players’ commitment. It’s a team; if the top-order does not click the middle order must come to the party. We need to compliment each other. Guys are working hard. To be honest with you, we are just failing to get the results.”
Utseya jumps to his team’s defence after the whitewash.
“It’s always nice to break records and stuff like that. Personal records are okay. But at the end of the day, the team comes first. I take the blame (for the loss) because I was the last all-rounder/batter and I had to see the team through. I felt I let the team down.”
Zimbabwe all-rounder Keith Dabengwa after his 72-run partnership with Utseya in the final ODI broke Eddo Brandes and Ali Shah’s seventh wicket record from the 1992-03 season. His dismissal however sparked off a collapse leading to defeat.
I only got to know about the record this morning. I did not really expect to break it today. It felt good to know that I’ve reached this landmark.”
Pace bowler Tawanda Mupariwa after becoming the fastest Zimbabwean bowler to reach 50 ODI wickets. He reached the milestone from 27matches, breaking Eddo Brandes’ record from 38 ODIs.
“As a top-order batsman there is always pressure and expectation on me to perform but, like any cricketer, one goes through a lean spell (especially) when you don’t find your rhythm and as a result can’t spend time in the middle. But the most important thing is you realise where you went wrong and try to rectify that as quickly as possible.
Jayawardene denies that his poor form on the Zimbabwe tour, in which he scored just 19 runs, was due to overconfidence.
“Prosper Utseya must be removed as captain. He has no tactical ability, and he has done nothing to suggest he is learning on the job. For crying out loud, he won the toss and batted first. Tatenda Taibu is the spiritual heart of the team, he or Ray Price should be the captain.
“Walter Chawaguta is hopeless, useless. Robin Brown must be reinstated.
ZC must move heaven and earth to get the services of Brendan Taylor again. Only he can provide the aggression required at the top of the order with the ability to back it up consistently. He is a match winner, and you need match winners in the side.
Develop Graeme Cremer as an allrounder. Timycen Maruma has been included in the first eleven on many occasions, yet Cremer is a better bowler by far, and a better batsman too. Like Elton Chigumbura, Cremer could potentially be a high-class allrounder but needs the exposure.”
The brmtaylor.com website gets blunt.
By Enoch Muchinjo