Zimbabwe will start their World Cup campaign against Australia in Ahmedabad on February 21 under the leadership of Elton Chigumbura, with a very young side.
With input from West Indies legend Brian Lara and former Zimbabwe opening batsman Grant Flower’s vast experience as batting coach, they could unsettle someone’s applecart in the league stages.
The batting is likely to be opened by the experienced Brendon Taylor with Regis Chakabva, skipper Elton Chigumbura and the hugely talented Charles Coventry, taking up middle-order positions.
Left-handed batsman Sean Williams is likely to bat in the crucial number three slots. Hampshire's high scoring all-rounder, Sean Ervine lends flexibility to the line-up with useful ability with the ball and can be shifted up and down the batting order, depending on the situation.
The bowling options are likely to see a toss-up among four specialist spinners in Ray Price, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer and Greg Lamb, as they look forward to exploit the spin-friendly conditions in the subcontinent.
Moreover, the fast bowling unit has Chris Mpofu and tall right-arm seamer Ed Rainsford, one of the quickest bowlers in Zimbabwe, could also get an opportunity.
Zimbabwe World Cup squad: Elton Chigimbura (captain), Regis Chakabva, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Sean Ervine, Greg Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Ray Price, Ed Rainsford, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams
Players to watch out for
The 28-year-old Sean Ervine could be the surprise package, having last played a World Cup match in 2003. He could keep the Zimbabwe team afloat with purposeful batting and useful medium pace bowling. He can be destructive and can clear the field to accelerate the scoring rate. A vastly improved cricketer in the last few years.
The right-handed opening batsman Brendan Taylor had an impressive series against South Africa averaging 91 with the bat in a recent three-match series, which includes an unbeaten 145 against a potent Proteas attack. His role is vital as one of the most experienced batsman with 3242 runs at the top of the order, as he would like to bat most of the overs in the games.
Former skipper Tatenda Taibu’s never die attitude coupled with his experience and runs 2812 runs could prove to be a decisive factor .He can play the big shots, with an inclination of long on and mid wicket region. His agility and presence of mind are other factors, which could influence a wicket of the opposition batsman.
21 February - (D/N) Australia v Zimbabwe, Ahmedabad 2.30pm India, 9am GMT
28 February - Zimbabwe v Canada Nagpur 9.30am India, 4am GMT
4 March - New Zealand v Zimbabwe Ahmedabad 9.30am India, 4am GMT
10 March - (D/N) Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe Pallekele2.30pm India, 9am GMT
14 March - (D/N) Pakistan v Zimbabwe Pallekele2.30pm India, 9am GMT
20 March - Zimbabwe v Kenya Kolkata 9.30am India, 4am GMT
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