Chigumbura will need to shine with bat and ball
Zimbabwe won their first one-day international against Australia in the 1983 World Cup but suffered 18 successive defeats before their next victory against England in the 1992 tournament.
The first time they won consecutive games was in their most notable series to date, a 3-0 whitewash against England in 1996-7 when chicken farmer Eddo Brandes became a household name by taking a hat-trick.
In the current ranks is Charles Coventry, who shared the record for the highest one-day international score of 194 from 156 balls against Bangladesh in August 2009 until Sachin Tendulkar scored the first double century barely six months later. Coventry has passed 50 only once in 17 innings since that innings and has a modest overall average of 26.
WORLD CUP RECORD
That World Cup debut saw an unbeaten 69 and four wickets from former England coach Duncan Fletcher against an Australian side boasting Allan Border, Rodney Marsh, Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee but it was to prove their only success of the tournament. In 1987 they lost all six matches, the win against England was their only victory of the 1992 competition, they again failed to survive the first hurdle in 1996 but in 1999 they reached the second phase for the first time after wins against Kenya, India and South Africa. In 2003 England forfeited their group match on safety grounds that helped the Zimbabweans reach the Super Six phase but they were unable to win any of those three games and in 2007 they failed to win any of their three group matches and made an early exit.
Powerful all-rounder Elton Chigumbura has played 122 matches, and took over the captaincy last May following the resignation of Prosper Utseya, leading the side to victory against India in his first match at the helm. A powerful hitter in the middle order, he has 13 ODI fifties and 81 wickets at a cost of 38 apiece but had a glimpse of how difficult international cricket is at the highest level when his side lost all three matches in the series last October.
Since the retirement of pacemen Heath Streak and Brandes, Zimbabwe lack a true talisman. Surprisingly, 34-year-old slow left-armer Ray Price is ranked fourth in the ODI bowling rankings, despite a modest average of almost 35, with 80 wickets from 83 matches and taking four wickets or more only once. Chigumbura is likely to be an important presence, while Tatenda Taibu will bring fluent runs and neat hands behind the stumps, having made his 16th ODI fifty in his most recent game in December.
Coached by former England batsman Alan Butcher, Zimbabwe have had recent input from the legendary Brian Lara at a training camp, but without him actually being allowed to play in the team it is hard to see the Zimbabweans edging out Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or New Zealand in Group A to claim a place in the quarter-finals, but victories over Kenya and Canada might ensure that only one shock win would be enough to take them through.
Zimbabwe squad: Elton Chigumbura (capt), Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Regis Chakabva, Terry Duffin*, Craig Ervine, Gregory Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Tinashe Panyangara*, Christopher Mpofu, Raymond Price, Vusi Sibanda*, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya.
*Called up as replacements for Tinotenda Mawoyo, Edward Rainsford and Sean Williams