Zimbabwe coach warns: No player is safe

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Zimbabwe coach Stephen Mangongo has laid down the law for his senior players, saying even the most experienced cricketer is not safe from the chop unless they start putting results on the board.

Zimbabwe coach Stephen Mangongo has laid down the law for his senior players, saying even the most experienced cricketer is not safe from the chop unless they start putting results on the board.

Zimbabwe lost their most recent ODI series to Afghanistan at home, a shock result for the African side against a team supposedly their inferior. Only one batsman, Sikandar Raza, made a ton in those three games.

Mangongo, newly appointed to the role, said in the Zimbabwe Independent: "We have underperformed for a long time and the time has come for us to be bold and make the right decisions.

"We will not hesitate to chop dead wood and we will not hesitate to unleash raw genuine talent if experience fails us.

"Each player will be held accountable for his roles, and the day you do not execute your role well I will look elsewhere. I would rather have young hungry talent learning than to have the experienced players continuously underperforming.

"The current group of players has played against all cricket nations in the world, but some of their performances do not show."

The Zimbos' next challenge is a Test and ODI series against South Africa at home, and then a triangular series against the Proteas and Australia, and Mangongo insists the bigger teams must not assume they'll beat his side.

The new coach continued: "Even when we play giants like South Africa and Australia, it should not be a foregone conclusion; they should know that when they come here they will play some tough cricket.

"This is a good opportunity for us to play good cricket consistently and the players are all excited about it. When we win against Bangladesh no one cares but when we beat Pakistan the world took notice.

"So when we play Australia and South Africa it's a rare opportunity for us to show the world that we can play cricket and prove our doubters wrong."

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