Zimbabwe wary of Windies pace attack
HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe left for the Caribbean on Saturday, bracing for an onslaught from the West Indies pace attack in the upcoming Test and one-day series.
The African side will play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s in the tour that runs from February 22 to March 20.
Speaking prior to the squad’s departure, batting coach Grant Flower said much of the preparatory work had been aimed at combating the Windies quicks.
“The boys have been training hard and preparations have gone well. Basically, we have put in a lot of work with the batsmen to make sure they are able to handle the West Indies’ pace bowling,” said Flower, a former top Zimbabwe batsman.
“Obviously their fast bowlers are not as quick as the great West Indies sides of the past, but they are reasonably fast and we have tried to make sure that the boys know what to expect and are well equipped.
“To counter this we have been working with the batsmen’s ability to deal with short pitched deliveries, their footwork in the crease as well as the mental aspect. They also have some quality spinners such as (Sunil) Narine, who can be dangerous and we have taken that into consideration.”
West Indies are expected to boast the likes of speedsters Kemar Roach and Tino Best, both of whom have had success of recent.
The tour is expected to be a lopsided one with Zimbabwe contesting the first Test series in over a year against the experienced West Indies unit.
However Flower, who will not travel with the squad because of Zimbabwe Cricket’s financial constraints, said the squad had also analysed recent performances by the Windies and had come up with a game plan.
“As part of the preparations, we have also been studying the recent footage of the West Indies and tried to identify some of the areas where we can exploit and take advantage of,” he explained.
West Indies face Zimbabwe in the first of three ODIs at the National Stadium in Grenada in February 22 before clashing in back-to-back T20Is in Antigua on March 2-3.
The Test series bowls off in Barbados on March 12, with the second Test scheduled for Windsor Park in Dominica, starting March 20.