Cricket coach Dave Houghton stares daunting future

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By Darlington Gatsi

ZIMBABWE national cricket team coach, Dave Houghton, has conceded the Chevrons need to improve quality of play inorder to remain competitive against heavyweights.

Houghton, appointed in July to replace Lalchand Rajput at the helm of local cricket, brought renewed hope in the team after qualifying for the T20 World Cup with a perfect record in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe went on to record a double history clinching T20 and ODI series victories over Bangladesh in Harare.

Chevrons have failed to replicate the form against heavyweights and former world champions India.

India have already sealed the series with a win Saturday setting up a dead rubber today (Monday) at Harare Sports Club.

Dave Houghton admitted it was an uphill task against India, saying it was an opportunity for his charges to gain exposure.

“We have issues in our own team, top of the order is a problem. It does not help with Craig Ervine out. In those qualifiers, we had Reggie and Craig, with Sean Williams. It was a little bit more stable,” he said.

“Then again you have to look at the standard of the opposition. With Craig’s injury we played around with the top and we still continue to do so. We are not finding solution yet

“We know we have that problem and we are searching everyday to try and find solutions until we find someone who can be there consistently.

“I am using Indian bowlers to try and teach our bowlers because we have to learn from who we play against,” said Houghton.

Zimbabwe were thrashed by India by 10 wickets Thursday, before crumbling Saturday by 5 wickets.

Chevrons tour Australia as part of preparations for the World Cup, and will look to end the Indian tour on a high avoiding a white wash.

Houghton confirmed lanky fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani will not be available for Monday’s game, but will bounce back against Australia.

“He has definitely recovered, but we will not see him on Monday. When players get injured like that, it is one thing to get them recovered and it’s one thing to get them bowl aggressively. My target for Blessing is the
second game against Australia.”