Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
TOP order batsman Chamu Chibhabha says Zimbabwe still need to invest more on strengthening the mental aspect of their game if they are to stand the ground against the world’s top cricket nations. Zimbabwe are set to host Pakistan later this month in a three-match One Day International series and two Twenty20 games in Harare.
The tour is part of a bilateral arrangement following the visit by the Zimbabweans to the Asian country in May this year and lost all games.
But Chibhabha, who narrowly missed his maiden ton when he perished on 99 runs in the second ODI in Lahore, has backed the hosts to turn the tables at home. Pakistan are expected to arrive on September 24 and Chibhabha said Zimbabwe, who have since started training, would need to make good use of the time they have to prepare for the tour.
“Personally I feel we have a good chance (of winning) but it’s up to each and every individual to contribute to the team’s success.
“The most important thing is for us to believe and back ourselves to execute. Sometimes we get into the winning situations but because we might not be tough enough it gets difficult.
“We just need to make sure that we put in enough hours in preparations. But for me I think the biggest challenge would be to prepare ourselves mentally more than anything else because when your mind is tough, and you can back your processes through that, you will be successful,” he said.
“A lot of us are talented but we haven’t really done ourselves a favour. So I think it’s more of a mindset thing. The moment we sort that out I think we can be competitive and beat any team in the world.”
Chibhabha, who turned 29 on Sunday, came back home at the weekend to join the national team in their preparations ahead of the visit by Pakistan.
A contract dispute with Zimbabwe Cricket had forced him to go back to club cricket in England with Harefield Cricket Club. Chibhabha featured for Zimbabwe during the recent tours by India and New Zealand. “My family is in the UK, so I had gone to see my family and be with my club as well. But I had to come back and play international cricket.
“Obviously they were not happy with me leaving but I discussed with them and apologised for my absence this season. At the end of the day, as much as they were disappointed they understood my situation.
“But to be honest, as much as I love to play for my country, I also love to play for my club because they had been good to me. During that period when I wasn’t playing international cricket they looked after me well. It’s just a matter of finding a balance. But my first preference is my country. So I think I’ll put UK on hold for a bit and focus on my international career at the moment,” said Chibhabha.