HARARE – Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket coach Walter Chawaguta said his team got a rude awakening in foreign conditions in India but their participation was a vital exercise in preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Dubai.
The locals participated in a four-team 50 overs tournament, losing all the six matches they played against host India, Australia and neighbours South Africa.
The youthful team lost twice to India and Australia and once to South Africa in the round robin stage while their second tie against fellow African South Africa was rained out.
Zimbabwe were hammered by 148 runs and nine wickets by India, lost by 147 runs and eight wickets to Australia before going down to South Africa by seven wickets.
In the third place play-off, Zimbabwe succumbed to an 8-wicket defeat to the Aussies while India beat South Africa in the final to lift the Quadrangular Cup.
“I believe we matched the opponent man for man but our ability to absorb pressure and deal with temporary setbacks was below par, we were never really ‘bowled out’ but more often than not got ourselves out due to bad options under pressure,” Chawaguta told the Daily News yesterday.
“Our bowling lacked the consistency and aggression needed to succeed on batter friendly surfaces, our fitness as a unit was exposed, our fielding crumbled under harsh weather. Whereas our opponents were well acclimatized, we only had two days to get accustomed to very hot humid conditions before our first match.”
The former senior national team coach said the tournament was an eye opener as it exposed areas of weakness that they need to work on between now and the World Cup in February.
“With 10 of our players experiencing subcontinent weather for the first time in their playing careers, this factor was always going to make a marked contribution to our momentum going into the tournament,” he added.