UNDER-19 national cricket team coach Walter Chawaguta believes facing Indian spinners at home will be a rewarding experience for his team ahead of next year’s ICC Under-19 cricket World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Chawaguta was speaking ahead of his team’s opening match against India of the Quadrangular Under-19 tournament at the Port Stadium in Vishakhapatnam today.
The national Under-19 side will also play against Australia and South Africa during the tourney which runs until October 5 in preparation for the World Cup in February next year.
The former Zimbabwe coach said his team’s major strength lay in the players’ all-round ability.
“We have as many as 13 all-rounders,” Chawaguta told The Hindu newspaper.
“There are seven fast bowlers and five spinners, four of them leggies (leg spinners). We have trained against spin,” said the coach, who took charge six months ago.
In a separate interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Chawaguta said although they were struggling with the humidity, the wet conditions prevailing in Vishakhapatnam had made it easier for the players to acclimatise well.
“We were weary of the conditions, but it seems okay funny enough. It’s just mainly humid and there has been quite a lot of rain over the last couple of days. The team is into the mix of things now and we have one more practice today (yesterday) and we’re ready for the big time,” Chawaguta said.
Zimbabwe will need a good performance against India today to set the tone for the entire series, but will no doubt face an uphill task against the hosts.
“India is doing exceedingly well, having participated in a triangular series in Australia and a Test series and one-day match series in Sri Lanka in the near past,” India coach Bharat Arun said.
Zimbabwe will have very little time to reflect on today’s match as they will play Australia in their next match on Wednesday before playing South Africa on Friday.