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ZIMBABWE cricket team captain Brendan Taylor believes his boys are in the right frame of mind to plunge back into the trenches when they face Afghanistan.

The skipper praised the work done by the technical staff, in the last three weeks, and all the players and is confident of a victory against the unpredictable Asian side.

Zimbabwe wrapped up their preparations yesterday after spending about three weeks in camp.

“We are as ready as we can possibly be as we were doing a lot of work during the last five weeks and I believe in the lads,” said the right-handed batsman who became the first Zimbabwean batsman to hit back-to-back ODI centuries (128 not out and 107 not out), achieved against New Zealand in October 2011.

Taylor also warned his charges not to take Afghanistan lightly as they have quality players in their team.

Zimbabwe are using the tour of Afghanistan as the warm-up for bigger assignments next month when they welcome South Africa and Australia.

Taylor said they should be no doubts about whether Afghanistan are a good choice for the preparations as they have shown their pedigree as a rising cricket nation.

“Afghanistan has some quality players as well, and I believe people like Mangal (Afghan captain) are going to give us a good game of cricket.

“It is definitely an exciting period for the players and it’s nice to be back on the field again playing for our country,” Taylor said.

The team will take a break from camp this weekend and regroup for a fitness test on Monday before travelling to Bulawayo for a date with Afghanistan in four ODIs at the Queens Sports Club from July 18-24.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe A team, which features a number of new faces, will provide the Asians with a warm-up in two 50-over matches starting tomorrow at Bulawayo Athletic Club.

Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva will lead the side.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan arrived at Harare International Airport yesterday and flew to Bulawayo for the first leg of their 28-day tour.

After that, the tour will move to Harare where Zimbabwe A will play Afghanistan in two four-day matches at the Country Club.

The first four-dayer starts on July 27 and the second on August 2.

Afghanistan squad

Abdullah Adil, Mohammad Ahmadi, Mohammad Ahmadzai, Aftab Alam, Sharafudin Ashraf, Mohammad Badshah, Usman Ghani, Hamid Hassan, Nasir Jamal, Amir Khan, Mohammad Mujtaba, Gulbadin Naib, Merwais Mohammad Nazir, Shabir Noori, Mohibullah Oryakhel, Fazal Rahman, Karim Sadiq, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Tarakai, Dawlat Zadran, Noor Zadran, Shahpur Zadran and Rehmat Zurmatai.

Source : The Herald