ZIMBABWE Cricket team batting coach Andy “Bundu” Waller has temporarily taken charge of the national side during their ICC World Cup preparations in New Zealand with Australian Dav Whatmore expected join the squad before their first official warm-up match on Monday.
Whatmore, who will lead Zimbabwe at the ICC Cricket World Cup with a view to extending the deal after the tournament is currently in Dubai to conduct a coaching clinic at the Arena Sports coaching camp at the Raffles World Academy.
Waller, who led the side during their first two warm-up matches against the Northern Districts XI in Gisborne said the 68-year-old World Cup-winning coach had notified Zimbabwe Cricket about his commitments and would join camp on Monday.
“Dav (Whatmore) arrives for our warm-up game against New Zealand in Christchurch on February 9,” Waller said in an interview with the Gisborne Herald.
“He had other commitments when he was appointed before Christmas.
“Dav asked me to be his batting coach for the World Cup.” said the former Zimbabwe coach.
Asked on the team’s targets at the ICC World Cup, Waller said reaching the Super Eight was a realistic target, but they would need to punch above their weight against one of the top teams.
“The Super 8 is a realistic goal for us,” said the former Zimbabwe Test player, who featured at the 1987, 1992 and 1996 World Cups. “To qualify for the Super 8 we’ve got to beat Ireland and United Arab Emirates (UAE) (the two non-Test-playing sides in Zimbabwe’s pool), then we’ve got to knock over one of four teams — Pakistan, the West Indies, South Africa or India.
“We expect Ireland and UAE to be tough but if we want to progress we have to beat them, which would set us up for one of the other teams.
“We all know the others will be tough. It’s fair to say our best chance would be Pakistan or the West Indies. There’s no reason we can’t beat Pakistan — we beat them in Zimbabwe in 2013 — or the West Indies, who can be inconsistent.
“Anything can happen in one-day cricket. Even the best teams and players have their off-days. It all depends on what happens on the day.”
Waller, who had a 12-month stint as national cricket team coach said Zimbabwe had a well-balanced side, but mental toughness would be key for the batsmen during the World Cup.
“We’ve got a good, well-balanced squad, all cricketers capable of doing great things at the world cup,” Waller said.
“Technically they’re all capable. Our biggest downfall might be the mental aspect of the game. We tend to lose more wickets than we should by not concentrating and working as hard as we should.
“But these are things we’ll be working on in our three games in Gisborne against the Northern Districts teams and our games against New Zealand and Sri Lanka before the World Cup.”