Prosper's positive spin
Zimbabwe in confident mood ahead of one-day series in West Indies
Last Updated: 03/03/10 3:21pm
Utseya: called for improved showing from Zimbabwe's batsmen
Zimbabwe are aiming to build on their surprise Twenty20 victory when the one-day international series against West Indies gets under way in Guyana on Thursday.
"We don't expect an easy game, and if we do our best, we will be successful."
Prosper Utseya Quotes of the week
The tourists claimed a 26-run success in the one-off T20 international in Trinidad on Sunday despite being bowled out for just 105.
West Indies' run chase was stifled by Zimbabwe's spinners on a turning wicket and the home side ended up well short on 79-7.
"We are trying not to be over confident going into [Thursday's] game," said Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya.
"We know the West Indies are a good team, but once we settle down and play good cricket, we know we can be tough for any opposition on any given day."
Spin is again likely to be a key factor in the five-match one-day series with both Providence Stadium and the Arnos Vale Multiplex in St Vincent - venue for the last three games - expected to offer assistance to the slow bowlers.
"I must say that I am impressed with the spinners who handled the situation effectively," Utseya added.
"But there is some concern in the batting department, especially with seven of our batsmen failing to get off the mark. Having acknowledged this, we will still be looking to come out on top over them.
"There is still room for improvement in terms of how we think and we need to fix our mistakes. We don't expect an easy game, and if we do our best, we will be successful.
"We don't want to take West Indies lightly, and we will have to play out of our skin and remain focused for Thursday and throughout the ODIs."
The Trinidad defeat meant Ottis Gibson's reign as West Indies head coach got off to an inauspicious start.
Gibson, formerly England's bowling coach, is attempting to restore his batsmen's confidence following a difficult tour of Australia.
West Indies welcome back skipper Chris Gayle after he missed the T20 on compassionate grounds to visit his ailing mother.
"He is an inspiration to the guys," said Gibson. "He gives them a lift as if they are on cloud nine.
"The guys understand how they need to play in certain situations, and what we have practised, and I must say, judging from how they look, I am impressed with the way things have been going so far in preparation for the game."
With Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo not considered on fitness grounds, West Indies' 14-man squad features just one change from the T20 loss - Narsingh Deonarine replacing Darren Bravo.
West Indies (from): C Gayle (capt), A Barath, S Benn, D Bernard, S Chanderpaul, N Deonarine, A Fletcher, N Miller, K Pollard, D Ramdin (wkt), R Rampaul, K Roach, D Sammy, D Smith
Zimbabwe (from): P Utseya (capt), E Chigumbura, C Coventry, G Cremer, K Jarvis, G Lamb, T Maruma, H Masakadza, S Masakadza, S Matsikenyeri, C Mpofu, R Price, V Sibanda, T Taibu (wkt), B Taylor