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Zimbabwe minister defends imminent test return

Zimbabwe minister defends imminent test return

Zimbabwe Sports Minister David Coltart has defended the decision for the national team to return to test cricket this year amid criticism over its performance at the World Cup.
Zimbabwe lost to Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to crash out of the World Cup in the group stage.
The African team convincingly beat Associate sides Canada and Kenya, but had been hoping for at least one upset in the other Group A matches in order to progress to the knockout stage.
Zimbabwe will return to the five-day format in a one-off test against Bangladesh in August at a date to be confirmed. The team will then host other one-off tests, against Pakistan in September and New Zealand in October or November.
Asked how Zimbabwe could reasonably expect to compete in test cricket, Coltart said the players' abilities aren't particularly conducive to doing well in limited-overs matches.
"There is a difference between test cricket and one-day cricket," he told The Associated Press. "There is no doubt that some of our players are perhaps better suited to test cricket. We have a variety of spin bowlers who can keep things tight at test level.
"We have had a good start to our preparations for a test return. In 2004 and 2005 when we stopped playing tests, we did not play a lot of four-day cricket. We now do. We must be under no illusion _ it will take quite an adjustment."
Coltart nominated Sean Ervine, who was called up into the World Cup squad before having to withdraw due to a fractured thumb, as one player better suited to test cricket.
"Sean Ervine is a good Test cricketer. I don't want to disrespect him, but he is better suited to tests than ODI cricket," Coltart said. "Before he withdrew, there were question marks about him being good enough in the first place.
"We need people like that back. One weakness we have is that we have a lot of young players who are hotheaded. In tests you need to be coolheaded."
Zimbabwe finished fifth in its group with a run-rate of +0.030 to be the only team not to qualify for the quarterfinals that had a positive scoring rate, a fact pointed out by Coltart.
"We were never thrashed," Coltart said. "While the team didn't perform to our expectations, the other teams never had a complete success against us. No team was able to score rapidly against our spinners.
"What I observed was a psychological weakness against the big teams when batting. We psyched ourselves out of these games. I think we were overpowered by the big teams. Against Kenya and Canada we were relaxed and played to our potential. In essence, we will only do well when we start to be a bit more positive in our thinking. "


Updated : 2021-03-09 18:51 GMT+08:00