Kolkata: Rankings won't matter to anyone when Zimbabwe takes on Kenya in an all-African World Cup Group A match on Sunday, desperate to avoid becoming the first team to lose here to the Associate nation.
Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher said the only positive result for his lineup will be a win. Kenya, the 2003 semifinalists, have lost all five games so far, including a five-wicket defeat to Canada.
"Their rankings and the fact they are an Associate nation means that they should not be as good as the four stronger nations that we have played," Butcher said. "But we are making sure we do our homework and ensure that we give them as much respect as we gave Australia, Pakistan and the other big teams."
Butcher said Zimbabwe's batting had not been up to par and was responsible for the big losses.
Zimbabwe's least margin of defeat in terms of runs has been a 91-run loss to Australia and in terms of wickets it has been a seven-wicket defeat to Pakistan.
"Our batting has been a big disappointment. We have not given our spin attack enough chance to win us games. It is difficult to say why that's been, because we have practiced hard. We've scored runs in the past. But it has just not worked out here," he said.
Zimbabwe has generally played with only one pace bowler in the tournament, with experienced left-arm spinner Raymond Price and off-spinner Prosper Utseya leading a spin attack also consisting of leg-spinner Graeme Cremer and off-spinner Greg Lamb.
Looking further ahead, Butcher said a return to test cricket later this year, beginning with a home series against Bangladesh in August, is of enormous important to Zimbabwe.
"The only place to learn to play test cricket is actually by doing that. There is no other place that can prepare you for that. So, obviously we will be doing all that we can and prepare as much as we can. But I will be surprised if we can come out of it without some beatings in the initial stages," he said
"But I hope the players can learn from the experience."