Zimbabwe name squad for West Indies Test
ZIMBABWE Cricket have announced a depleted squad led by Craig Ervine for the two-match Test series against the West Indies that gets underway at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo this Saturday.
Limited overs skipper Ervine was handed the responsibility to lead the side in the absence of regular captain Sean Williams who is recovering from a fractured finger.
Gary Ballance has also been named in the squad after he recently switched allegiance from representing England and committed to playing for his country of birth.
The left-handed batter had previously featured in 23 Tests for England, scoring 1 498 runs with four centuries and seven fifties at an average of 37.45.
The home side will be without all-rounders Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl who are fulfilling franchise commitments abroad, while pacemen Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani are recuperating from thigh injuries.
Their absence has opened up opportunities in the Zimbabwe squad for players who have been enjoying good form in the domestic first-class competition, the Logan Cup, among them the uncapped quartet of wicketkeeper-batters Tafadzwa Tsiga and Joylord Gumbie as well as opening batters Kudzai Maunze and Tanunurwa Makoni.
The trio of top-order batter Innocent Kaia and seamers Bradley Evans and Tanaka Chivanga is also in line to make their Test debuts after they were picked to face the West Indies.
Donald Tiripano and Chamunorwa Chibhabha have been recalled to add some experience to the side, while Victor Nyauchi, Wellington Masakadza, Richard Ngarava, Brandon Mavuta and Milton Shumba will be looking to make an impression in the longest version of the game.
The first Test is scheduled for February 4-8, with the second pencilled in for February 12-16.
Zimbabwe Test squad:
Gary Ballance, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine (captain), Bradley Evans, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Tanunurwa Makoni, Wellington Masakadza, Kudzai Maunze, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Tafadzwa Tsiga