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Zimbabwe begin Twenty20 campaign

Zimbabwe start their campaign in the inaugural International Cricket Council Twenty20 World Cup against Australia, who are champions in the other traditional forms of the game, in a floodlit match at the Sahara Park, Newlands.

The match starts at 6pm. Playing under floodlights might weigh heavily in favour of the Aussies but talented Zimbabwe wicketkeeper and middle-order batsman Tatenda Taibu is relishing an upset against the giants. "Generally, I like the competition against the best and I am looking forward to the game against Australia because personally I want to upset them.

"In Twenty20 cricket things happen so fast but if we take care of the controllable, results will take care of themselves. "As for me, I would want to get in there and bat all the way. Generally, I adapt quickly and I hope to be one of the key players for the team," said Taibu.

The late start means that both teams will only finalise their teams today but the Australians will start as overwhelming favourites given their vast experience in all forms of cricket while Zimbabwe are virtual novices.

Warm-up matches against Pakistan and Scotland at the weekend showed that the Zimbabwe players have been adapting to the shortest version of cricket with Taibu, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Stuart Matsikenyeri and Vusi Sibanda showing their ability with the bat.

The bowling department faces the biggest challenge and tonight they will come up against batsmen who can be ruthless like Andrew Symonds although injury worries in the Aussie camp might be a psychological boost for Zimbabwe.

According to reports from their camp, Australia are facing the prospect of playing Zimbabwe without a few key players, all of whom are nursing injuries -- all-rounder Shane Watson (strained hamstring), Michael Clarke (lower abdominal strain) and opener Matthew Hayden (back spasms). Hayden was on Monday night crowned the one-day international player of the year at the ICC annual awards.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed national cricket coach Robin Brown wants to change Zimbabwe's approach to games and make the players believe that they can win matches instead of just being competitive.

Brown, who replaced former Zimbabwe all-rounder Kevin Curran last month, believes aiming to be competitive is negative and that explains the need to approach matches with a view to win.

"We've got to change the culture of being competitive to winning culture and that is my first target. We've got to start winning games and I don't believe that we can't win games," said Brown.

source - allafrica.com
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