BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Zimbabwe Cricket captain Craig Ervine reckons the team’s inability to win key moments is the reason the country suffered a humiliating white ball tour whitewash against visiting Afghanistan in Harare this month.
Afghanistan won the One Day International (ODI) series 3 – 0 and completed another identical series whitewash in T20Is with a 35 run win at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.
And in a low scoring third T20I, Zimbabwe failed to chase a modest 126 target as they only managed 90 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
The country’s poor performances in recent months also saw Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) reshuffle the technical team and bring back former player and coach Dave Houghton to take the reins while Lalchand Rajput was elevated to the position of technical director.
“Obviously it has been a disappointing series and I think generally Zimbabwe miss winning those key moments throughout a lot of the games when we had Afghan on the back foot and we were on the driving seat,” Ervine said after the third T20I defeat.
“I just felt that those are the little moments that we need to take a hold of the game and control it for a lot longer. I just think it was with both bat and ball because when guys did well with the ball then a couple of sessions at the back end of the death, we gave away far too many runs.
“And with the bat, we have done so well to get into decent positions and then we lose a lot of wickets and we rush to give the game back to the opposition,” added the 36-year-old batter. The tour whitewash came in the wake of another embarrassing 3 – 2 T20I series defeat at home to minnows Namibia in May.
Ervine also shared his sentiments on the appointment of Houghton as the new head coach for the team.
“Dave Houghton is an important part of Zimbabwe cricket,” he said. “He has been around Zim cricket, and he is an important figure. He is very well respected. I don’t see why there will be any issues there.
“I worked with Dave at Tuskers a few years back and I think just the reputation that he holds will get the best out of the youngsters. I think his way of coaching and the clarity that he brings will be good for the young guys to look up to,” he said.
Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener was also added to the technical team as batting coach while ZC is set to announce a new bowling coach soon. ZC is hoping that the reshuffle will boost the country’s chances of qualifying for the 2022 T20 World Cup ahead of the qualifier which will be hosted by Zimbabwe next month.
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