AFTER enduring a difficult spell in his first stint as national cricket team captain, newly-appointed limited-overs skipper Elton Chigumbura believes he is better prepared for the task than he was four years ago.
The 28-year-old all-rounder was last month appointed ODI and T20 captain, with Brendan Taylor retained in the same role in the Tests, as part of Zimbabwe Cricket’s decision to split the captaincy across formats.
Chigumbura, who leads the national side for the first time in his second stint when Zimbabwe takes on South Africa the first One Day International at Queens Sports Club tomorrow, said he was ready for the challenge.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. Obviously playing more matches has helped me, I have learnt a lot since then and I’m now more experienced.
“I hope to use that experience I have gained to try and improve on one or two things I didn’t do well during my first stint as captain. I may be the captain, but I’m looking forward to working with the other senior players in the team for the good of the team,” Chigumbura told NewsDay Sport yesterday.
Chigumbura led Zimbabwe in 24 limited-overs games from May 2010 to March 2011 in his first stint as captain after Prosper Utseya’s resignation from the post.
After enjoying some initial successes in the role after leading the team to victories against India and Sri Lanka in a home triangular series the added weight of the captaincy began to affect him.
Expected to lead his charges from the front as captain, Chigumbura’s form slipped alarmingly as he averaged just 21.06 with the bat and 158.50 with the ball.
After being overlooked during the one-off Test against South Africa at Harare Sports Club, Chigumbura said he was looking forward to making his first contribution during the one-dayers.
“Watching your teammates from the sidelines is always disappointing, but at the end of the day the team comes first and the guys who did the job did well during the Test. I’m now looking forward to making my first contribution during the one-dayers and hopefully we will do well.
“I’m bowling again and will be looking forward to contributing in my role as an allrounder. If the situation permits don’t be surprised to see me batting higher up the order than my usual position,” Chigumbura said.
Squad: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Sikandar Raza Butt, Luke Jongwe, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Neville Madziva, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingi Masakadza, Richmond Mutumbami, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams.