Instead of using their innings and 301-run loss to the Black Caps as motivation, the Zimbabwean cricket team just want to forget about it.
At yesterday’s media session in Dunedin, allrounder Elton Chigumbura had a well-prepared line for any questions on the Test and as they were asked over and over he kept his cool, but was running out of things to say.
Fair enough too, the 25-year-old wasn’t even part of the squad that lost in Napier last week and he’s likely to be part of tomorrow’s one-day-international (ODI) team to play the Black Caps in the first of their three-match series.
“This (one-day cricket) is a different format and we have new players joining us and some more that didn’t play in Napier that will be here,” he said.
Chigumbura was not part of the Test defeat, but could return tomorrow as he approaches 150 ODI appearances.
The 25-year-old clubbed a quickfire 47 in that remarkable win over New Zealand three months ago and hopes the change in format will bring a change in fortune.
The 26-year-old Utseya — a one-day specialist with 137 caps alongside his name, should add a lot of experience to the team.
He played in both losses in the three-match series with the Black Caps in Zimbabwe in October, but not the game his side won by one wicket.
In the last ODI between the two countries in October, Zimbabwe recorded their highest successful run chase after passing New Zealand’s imposing total of 328 with one wicket and one ball to spare.
Zimbabwe still lost the series 2-1, but that performance will not have been forgotten by the New Zealanders heading into tomorrow’s match.
Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher said: “That will be in their minds, to know we can compete in a much better fashion than we did in the Test match.
“We’ve got to. If we keep losing like that then we’ll find ourselves back where we were five or six years ago.
“This is a different format and we have new players joining us and some more that didn’t play in Napier that will be here,” he said.
Following the ODI series there are two Twenty20 internationals.