Zimbabwe travelled to South Africa to play the historic 4-day Test which was also day/night. However, the Chevrons got a rude awakening as they capitulated inside two days, without even batting under the floodlights for day two.
It was expected that the visit would be an extremely uphill task under the new, experimental conditions, but the monumental failure that the Zimbabwean boys exhibited left a lot of questions which need answers. Zimbabwe were walloped by a whole innings after a follow on, allowing South African bowlers to be at their best marauding mode, tearing the batting attack into smithereens.
Our highest scorer was Craig Ervine who got 23 runs. The rest was just disaster. This prompted coach Heath Streak to suggest that Zimbabwe might have to accept playing more limited overs cricket or settle for a lower level of Test cricket. After such a defeat, what can a coach say? On the other side, AB de Villiers gave 4-day Tests a thumbs up, obviously impressed by the result they obtained.
Streak said Zimbabwe suffered from a lack of test cricket, which made it difficult to compete against a top side like South Africa in conditions that helped the home fast bowlers
The Chevrons’ state of Test cricket has been of ups and downs. But this was a rude awakening. It is clear that South Africa and Zimbabwe are universes apart. Zimbabwe is years behind.
It seems, the best possible way is to go with Streak’s suggestion. Zimbabwe Cricket needs to breath. It can be argued that lack of play has adversely affected how our players fare with Test cricket. Especially under floodlights. It was a catastrophe.
Playing smaller nations like Afghanistan and Ireland for the experimental 4-day Tests seems another way of improving our deplorable state of Test cricket. Another matter is how the ICC funding creates huge discrepancies in how teams perform. But well, Zimbabwe can learn a lot of lessons from this heavy loss.