Zimbabwe shock as captain, coach axed

Massive upheaval for African nation just prior to India's arrival for limited-overs series as former Protea takes charge

Zimbabwe have axed coach Dav Whatmore and captain Hamilton Masakadza just days before the arrival of India for a six-match limited-overs tour.

Zimbabwe Cricket cited the team's poor performance at this year's World Twenty20 tournament where they failed to make it out of the group stage.

Former Australia Test batsman Whatmore, who coached the country of his birth Sri Lanka to the World Cup title in 1996, was handed a four-year contract in April last year.

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He will be replaced on an interim basis by former South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, who is also the team's bowling coach.

"Head coach Davenell Whatmore has had his contract terminated with immediate effect," a statement from Zimbabwe Cricket read.

"Bowling coach Makhaya Ntini has taken over in an acting capacity until the appointment of a substantive head coach.

"The board has also relieved Zimbabwe top-order batsman Hamilton Masakadza of the captaincy for all three formats of the game. His deputy, Graeme Cremer, will act in the interim."

Zimbabwe have also signed former South Africa allrounder Lance Klusener as a batting coach for two years, and appointed former captain Tatenda Taibu  as the new convener of the national selection panel.

Zimbabwe play India in three one-day internationals in Harare starting on June 11, as well as three Twenty20 games.

Zimbabwe failed to reach the Super 10 phase of the World T20 in India, with Afghanistan advancing ahead of the African nation in the qualification round of the tournament.

Currently ranked 11th on the ODI charts and 12th on the T20 table, Zimbabwe will also be eager to upset their higher ranked subcontinent opponents to climb back into the top 10.

India squad: MS Dhoni (c), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal