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fwullah
October 12, 2003, 09:13 AM
Grant Flower, who had to drop out of the Australian tour after breaking a finger in a domestic match, suspects that Zimbabwe's decline is shortening Bangladesh's days as Test cricket's whipping boys. "I think Bangladesh are right behind us, and it's a matter of time before they catch up to us maybe two years," Flower said. "I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic."


Full Aricle:

Tough times for Zimbabwe, admits Grant Flower

Telford Vice

October 12, 2003



Grant Flower doesn't agree with media opinion that the Zimbabwe side under the Australian cosh in the first Test at Perth is a virtual 2nd XI. Speaking from Harare, he told Wisden Cricinfo: "I wouldn't say it's a 2nd XI, because these days there's not a lot to choose from."

Rain ended play on the fourth day at the WACA with Zimbabwe staring down both barrels of a crushing defeat. They were 272 for 9 in their follow-on, still a distant 224 runs from making Australia bat again with only one wicket left. Rain all day tomorrow is their only hope of avoiding defeat, even though Australia have two bowlers - Jason Gillespie and Stuart MacGill - out injured.

"With Andrew [Flower] and Henry [Olonga] going overseas, and Alistair Campbell and Guy Whittall retiring, that's probably the best available team," said Flower. "The loss of key players like those had a lot to do with what's happening in Australia, but it's been a while coming. It's just the way things are run here."

Olonga and Andy Flower left Zimbabwe after the 2003 World Cup as a result of hostile government reaction to their black-armband protest at what they termed the "death of democracy" in their country, while fellow stalwarts Campbell and Whittall quit the game at roughly the samwe time.

Grant Flower, who had to drop out of the Australian tour after breaking a finger in a domestic match, suspects that Zimbabwe's decline is shortening Bangladesh's days as Test cricket's whipping boys. "I think Bangladesh are right behind us, and it's a matter of time before they catch up to us maybe two years," Flower said. "I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic."

The Zimbabwean team, Flower admitted, was crumbling under the strain of repeated poor performances. "We've been getting caned for quite a while," he said. "I wouldn't say it's a good thing to get used to it, and it sounds terrible, but I think that's what's happening."

Flower, who is now Zimbabwe's most-capped Test player, said he felt for his team-mates as they endured the sharp end of Matthew Hayden's 380 at Perth, which surpassed Brian Lara's 375 as the record Test score.

"I watched most of it, and it's a bit disheartening to chase leather all day like that, but it was a brilliant knock. I saw some of Lara's 375 [against England in 1993-94], which was definitely made against much better bowling. But that's not to take anything away from Hayden it was a wonderful effort."

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd

Source: Grant Flower on Zim tour of Aus (http://www-usa.cricket.org/link_to_database/ARCHIVE/CRICKET_NEWS/2003/OCT/315000_AUSZIM2003-04_12OCT2003.html)

BangladeshCricket
October 12, 2003, 09:34 AM
We know how it worked in the tests and later on the onedays...individual improvement of Rajin, Hannan, in test Bashar and in oneday's Kapali...if all of them can put these efforts together in test and oneday we will do really good...bowling wise Sujon, Musfiq Babu did good in both but only Babu was consistent...if they both contribute in both test and oneday consistently and together we will have a good combo of third seamers. Now can't forget about Great Rafiq..I wish he improves day by day and contribute in both tests and days like he did recently...and I also wish he stays for us like this way for couple of years more....Kawshik, Tapash are good but if they atleast continues to be more consistent and take some early wicket we will be in a great shape. But Tapash showed consistency in taking wickets but others were not. It all depends on the whole team performance with the individual improvement. Only then we will be like Zimb and may b e able to beat them in coming tour. Otherwise, win will be our dream again and have to wait for it ...I don't know how long lets wish all the best...

Nascer
October 12, 2003, 10:02 AM
[Edited on 6-11-2004 by Nascer]

fwullah
October 12, 2003, 11:40 AM
I agree with BangladeshCricket.

You wrote the exact things that I had meant, but just could not put it right.

BangladeshCricket
October 12, 2003, 11:46 AM
Thanks Mr. fwullah.

reinausagi
October 12, 2003, 11:56 AM
Madam Fwullah...

BangladeshCricket
October 12, 2003, 12:51 PM

Tehsin
October 12, 2003, 04:40 PM
I am holding back on my comments on who is better AT THIS MOMENT. You really can't tell unless you pit them against one another.

Hypothetically, BD bowling is better then Zimbabwe as of this moment. Some people have argued that Zimbabwe (currently) is a better team because they beat us in the previous tours. Excuse me, but aren't you forgetting that there is a noticeable difference between BD now with the BD that played in the world cup ? Most of the players are intact but the ATTITUDE is completely different. We had only two quality players in Sumon and Masri. Now, we have Sumon, Rajin, Alok, Masri, Hannan and Rafique. Even Shujon is taking wickets despite being such a mediocre player. Also, we have a great guide/motivator behind these players who knows how to get the best out of his men. If he can take us close to a win against Pakistan and survive 3 days against Australia, what do you want to bet that he can get us to a victory against a demoralized team like Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has a better batting line up and their bowling sometimes shine but let's not forget that we have managed to post 250 against Zimbabwean attack without the likes of Hannan, Alok and Rajin in the team. When you compare, we have to look at these issues instead of trying to down BD for whatever 'personal' reason you may have. I know it feels good to say 'I told you so' everytime BD loses but frankly, it's getting disgusting.

2000/01 at Bulawayo
BD 257, 91.3 & 168, 58.3
Zim 457, 138.4

2000/01 at Harare
BD 254, 120.5 & 266, 100
Zim 421/9d, 147.4 & 100/2, 24.3

2001/02 at Dhaka
BD 107, 48.2 & 125/3, 46.4
Zim 431, 150

2001/02 at Chittagong
Zim 542/7d 160 & 11/2, 2.4
BD 251, 95.3 & 301, 126.4

Also, I keep hearing that Zimbabwe is great despite the current result:

Australia 735/6d
Zimbabwe 239 & 272/9 (105.0 ov) (f/o)

Take a look at the Austalian bowling line up used for this match. 48 of those overs were bowled by Lehmann (54/3), Waugh, Ponting and Martyn.

Sure, bangladesh was bowled out for 96 but imagine what would have happened to Zimbabwe if Gillespie didn't stop bowling after the 3rd over. His three over figure shows 3-0-6-2. Imagine if McGrath had bowled as he did against BD.

In any case, I will wait until the England tour to see if we can maintain our current surge. I did not mean to hurt anyones feelings but it's hard to see my team get bashed over and over again on the board.

chinaman
October 12, 2003, 04:51 PM
I think at present the Zims are batter. But their progression to go even higher is slow if not stopped. On the other hand, the rate at which the Tigers making progress is truely tremendous and they are rapidly heading if not destined to surpass the Zims and beyond.

fab
October 12, 2003, 05:27 PM
1-2 (Gripper, 1.6 ov), 2-11 (Ebrahim, 5.4 ov),
3-110 (Vermeulen, 42.2 ov), 4-112 (Carlisle, 43.3 ov),
5-118 (Wishart, 46.3 ov), 6-126 (Taibu, 52.1 ov),
7-126 (Evans, 53.1 ov), 8-209 (Ervine, 81.6 ov),
9-247 (Blignaut, 91.3 ov).

Need I say more? I was really hoping that the Zimbs would get thrashed badly, but despite the forthcoming innings defeat it is because of performances like this no one questions their test status.

The day we could perform like that against the Australians, would be the day we are on par with Zimb (batting wise). And now it looks like the game will be washed out, lucky them! :)

Tehsin
October 12, 2003, 05:37 PM
Fab, look who was bowling. :)

In all four innings, we played Lee, McGrath, Gillespie and MCgill. We did play Lehmann for 3 and Waugh for 5 overs.

On the other hand, look who Zimbabwe is batting against HALF the time.

Tehsin
October 12, 2003, 05:39 PM
Also, I've already said said Zimbabwe still has a better batting side than we do. They lack the motivation.

fab
October 12, 2003, 05:45 PM
I knew someone would point that out :) But why do we always have to give excuses? Do you honestly think BD could have recovered from getting 5 wickets in the space of 16 runs, to then play an additional 40 overs and make 120 or so runs?

btw, does anyone know why Gillespie and MacGill played so few overs? Were the Aussies trying to be nice to the Zimbos?

Nascer
October 12, 2003, 05:55 PM
[Edited on 6-11-2004 by Nascer]

Tehsin
October 12, 2003, 06:01 PM
I am only being fair. If they were playing wth their top bowlers, Zmbs would have been out for 150-180. Not that it makes any difference to whether BD is better then them or not. That will be decided next year. For now, Zimbs has the records to back them up seriously.

Zimbabwe is a very weak team compared to the rest of them. Only ahead of Bangladesh. Australia could have won by an innings and 300+ runs.

rafiq
October 12, 2003, 10:34 PM
Although we can use each team's performance against australia as a gauge of which one is better, I think the key difference is off the field. Zimbabwe are decelerating because their snowballing domestic problems overshadow cricket and its needs. Bangladesh is accelerating despite its ever-present domestic problems, but only because it has finally made a concerted effort to focus on its cricket.

Zimbabwe's players are weary. Although Bangladesh's players are certainly also tiring of defeat, they do appear to be more hungry. It's the confidence and attitude of new players like Rajin, Alok, Mashrafee that will make the difference on the field when we meet them next year.

I don't think there will be a 2 year wait.

fwullah
October 12, 2003, 11:04 PM
You guys have certainly more belief in our current Bangladesh line-up than I do. :)

Zobair
October 12, 2003, 11:26 PM
Up is the way to go....and thats where we are headed....Zimbabwe will be the team on the backfoot when we meet...I have absolutely no doubt about it....

Hasib
October 13, 2003, 03:14 AM
Hope he is right

billah
October 15, 2003, 01:16 PM
A word of observation to the members here: Zimbabwe's cricket problem is no longer limited within individual or team performance. A whole other dimension has been added by the political situation there. Ethnic diversity in the Z team has always been laughable. Incredible as it may be cricket is not the popular game there. The white minority's privated "Country Clubs" supported the sport. Without going into politics, I can easily see how they are going to have problem finding emerging cricketers, new talents. Unless the game and the cricket body in Zimbabwe liberalizes and help popularize the game, competing at Test level will simply become harder for the country. Specially, since much of the colonial support is vanishing rapidly & the present government is brewing a different culture altogether.