A month long Zimbabwe tour has ended. It is now time for us to go back to memories and analyze the outcomes. Besides win, what have we earned? What are the prospects we really need to work on? What are our real weaknesses? Here is a discussion of these questions from my narrow perspective.
First of all, we had a WIN. As an avid supporter of a team that earns four wins in over two decades, we know how important it is to us. This win is, however, more important than any other win we had before. Yes, I did consider the win against Pakistan too. The reason I am saying this is: with the assigning of Whatmore as the national coach, our cricket entered a new era. His hard work improved our cricket substantially. We came to a stage where we had everything, except for the belief that we can win. This mental inferiority complex prevented us from accomplishing goals in international level. Now we have this win. As a result, we enter the realm of international cricket not only formally, but also physically. This is why I say, this win is more important than any other win we had before.
It had become a tradition for world critiques that they will make fun of our cricket after any series. As we can see now, those very people are singing on our behalf. How wonderful it feels to read that we might be favorites next time we meet Zimbabwe! I wonder what Mr. David Hooks would say now if he were alive. Zimbabwe?s triumph after winning proves that it was a real cricket competition fought tooth and nail between two equal teams. Our win was a result of complete team work. Moreover, we fought back and kept fighting in any given situation. It was almost like more than what we asked for!
Before going into the dismal part of this analysis I would like to bring in on last but not least glorious part of this tour. That is of course, the emergence of Manjural Islam Rana. A big salute to this newcomer and our future star. No, I cannot see the future. Even so, I can easily label him as a future star mainly because of his determination. He showed the true tiger-like spirit and succeeded in every test. Since the beginning of our cricket history, opening problem is considered one of the biggest problems. It is not time yet to say that this problem is solved by Rana. He, however, in his only given chance, showed that he may be the answer we are looking for all along.
How come we cannot score even 200 after the opening partnership runs 105? The infamous collapse of our middle order showed how a very nice situation can be changed into a disaster. If we are to keep winning in international level, our middle order has to learn how to be responsible. Some key performer like Sumon, Rajin, Asharaful or Alok has to be consistent in performance. It is well known that no one can perform continuously in cricket. Nevertheless, if we are to win, we have to make sure that at least two of them perform in any given match. Sumon has to lead them not only as captain but also with bat. Several incidents showed that he was not confident enough. He has to overcome that in no time and do justice to his name.
Even though we have earned the best bowling figure in this tournament, our bowling department never looked really fierce. Absence of Murtaza is an excuse, but we still need to improve our bowling a lot. Surprisingly enough, we had the worst fielding on the match that we won. I would say, fielding is not the biggest concern at this time, but would be a plus if we can improve.
I would be really glad if this article could end right here, and I did not have to discuss any other dark parts. Unfortunate for us, the biggest incidence came right before the final match. We still do not know what really happened, and why a polite person like Rafique went out of his mind. After confirmed by Whatmore and Zimbabwe officials, there is very narrow chance that this incidence did not happen. Our question is: why? I personally, however, more interested in how to solve this conflict than knowing what really happened. We need Rafique, and we do not want a whimsical event to bring end to our best bowler?s career. If this did not happen, I would easily say that this Zimbabwe tour was a one hundred percent success. Unlucky that this thing happened, but we need to be more willing to cure it than anything else. I would suggest the end of this with a verbal apology from Rafique, and going back to his cricket family. However, only time can say how this thing will really turn out.