Zimbabwe suffered a four wickets loss to Ireland three days after South Africas Proteas squad gave them a rude awakening in a match Alan Butchers men lost by eight wickets. But a confident Mpofu said loses during the two warm-up games were a good learning experience that should help inspire the Zimbabweans to work harder, correct their mistakes and be ready to answer fire with fire beginning with the game against the Aussies.
Losing our warm up matches against South and Ireland was really hard to take, especially the loss to Ireland. But it was a good experience because it worked as a wake-up call, especially when Ireland beat us. It just made us aware that no team can ever be taken for granted, Mpofu last week told The Zimbabwean on Sunday from India. (But) the defeat never robbed us of our confidence as may be the case after such a loss, but it just made us stronger. It opened our eyes to see our weaknesses and where we need to improve.
The Elton Chigumbura-captained Zimbabwe will battle it out against Australia at Indias Sardar Patel Stadium. And there can be no more formidable opponents than the Aussies, four time winners of the cricket world cup title since its inauguration in 1975. They are the defending champions having won the previous cups a record three times in a row.
So does this put the inexperienced Zimbabweans – who have never reached the finals of the showcase, with their best performance being in 1999 and 2003 when they reached the Super Six stage mere lamb for the slaughter against the feared Aussies?
I think there is pressure but at the same time we dont feel it that much because people have always took us lightly, which makes us one of the underdogs in the competition. I think that is something good and I believe that will give us a chance for another possible shocker. All we need to do is enjoy and stick to our strengths, Mpofu replied.
Zimbabwe grabbed a surprise one-run victory against Australia in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match, at St Lucia in South Africa. That piece of history should be cause for Zimbabwe to entertain some little hope against the Australians who lost by seven wickets in a warm-up match against South Africa last week.
No doubt, cool heads will caution against reading too much into the Proteas victory against Australia or hoping for history to repeat itself with Zimbabwe emerging with another surprise one-run victory against the Aussies. But those two incidents are evidence that the might Australians can, with enough fire in the belly and right attitude, can be beaten even by little Zimbabwe.
Australia squad: Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Doug Bollinger, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin (wk), John Hastings, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
Zimbabwe squad: Elton Chigumbura (c), Regis Chakabva, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Terry Duffin, Craig Ervine, Greg Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Tinashe Panyangara, Ray Price, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams.Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News