Zimbabwe national cricket team coach Heath Streak says the team to face Afghanistan on Thursday at Harare Sports Club in the opening ODI will include young, energetic and confident players who do not have past history of fear or failure.

The match will be the first of five ODIs.

During a pre-match press conference held today, Chevrons coach Heath Streak said that the Zimbabwe team needs to stick to the game plan, express and execute their skills if they are to give themselves a chance in the five one-day series’ against Afghanistan beginning on Thursday at the Harare Sports Club.

Streak also said every member of the team had clarity and what roles they play in the team.

Asked why he had opted for young and inexperienced cricketers who featured in the Zimbabwe side that lost all matches against Afghanistan ‘A’, Streak said the Zimbabwe ‘A’ side is now the only pathway into the national team after conducting a team analysis and coming up with a strategy.

He said the Zimbabwe ‘A’ is the barometer to see if the new players such as Richard Ngarava, Tarisai Musakanda and Carl Mumba who are passionate and want to play for Zimbabwe, whether they have the energy and genuine pace since graduating  from the Under 19 side and the Zimbabwe ‘A’.

Captain Graeme Cremer said home conditions and knowledge of the wicket could swing the game in Zimbabwe’s favour.

The visitors said they prepared well and have come to win despite a better head-to-head against Zimbabwe but maintained they have great respect for the home side especially playing at home where they have home advantage and support.

The team captain said they were not even thinking about their test status and focusing on the ODIs where he had memories of a remarkable series against both at home and in Dubai after featuring in both the ODIs and T20 series.

The Chevrons are hoping for better fortunes after the Zimbabwe side made up of mostly young and upcoming players was whitewashed by the visitors and now focus shifts to the five match ODI series.

The Zimbabwe cricket team is expected to redeem some lost pride and give a better account of themselves against an Afghanistani side brimming with confidence in the five one day international series.

Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak left out Sean Williams, Hamilton Masakadza, Tendai Chisoro, Chamu Chibhabha, Brian Chari, Tinashe Panyangara, Tendai Chatara and Wellington Masakadza for various reasons.

The so-called senior and experienced players were not performing to expectations as cricket fans called on the team to be disbanded and young players from the U19 team are included.

Zimbabwe slumped to such low levels that they failed to compete despite having so many experienced players in their ranks with a combined total of over 800 tests and ODI matches under their belts.

No-player was prepared to take responsibility and leadership in the top order and clearly it was time Zimbabwe changed its mentality, practice methods and what was lacking was the confidence not the technique and skill.