HomeSportSpotlight shifts to ODI tri-series

Spotlight shifts to ODI tri-series

Enock Muchinjo

THE national selectors will now make changes to the Zimbabwe team for the Videocon One-Day International (ODI) Triangular Series with New Zealand and India, starting on We


The selectors will obviously look at several players who did not make the Test side because they are regarded as more adept in the shorter version of the game.

Players that come to mind are the likes of batsmen Mark Vermeulen, Barney Rogers, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Gavin Ewing and Douglas Marillier. Other players who can have a say include Vusumuzi Sibanda, Sean Williams and Elton Chigumbura, should he be fit.

But as of this week, seam bowler Douglas Hondo, Tinashe Panyangara and Edward Rainsford were still going through their paces under fitness trainer Dean Woodford, an indication that they still have to wait a little longer to return to full fitness.

Experienced batsman Trevor Gripper may also be considered for the series, although he has always been chosen as a Test batsman.

Zimbabwe gave debuts to two players, Neil Ferreira and Keith Dabengwa in the Tests, and may also throw in a couple of debutants again for the Triangular Series.

Names that come to mind include young Mashonaland all-rounder Chamunorwa Chibhabha, who was outstanding for his province in the Logan Cup last season. But lack of adequate first-class experience might work against Chibhabha.

On the other hand, Anthony Ireland of the Midlands, who carried the drinks on his first Test call-up against the Kiwis, may finally earn his first cap in the one-dayers after sitting out both the Tests.

Off-spin bowler Prosper Utseya on paper looks a certain replacement for Graeme Cremer as the one-day specialist spinner, but the selectors may also want to try out Cremer in the one-day game this time round after his introduction to international cricket as a Test bowler.

Paceman Andy Blignaut will hopefully have recovered from his shoulder injury. A frontline bowler for the team, Blignaut – and to some extent Utseya – is a useful tail-ender who can add aggressiveness to the Zimbabwe tail.

The New Zealanders play a Zimbabwe Board XI side at Queens Sports Club on Monday in a match that will have a bearing on the selection for the ODI team. Most of the fringe players are likely to play for the Board XI side alongside a few of the players from the Test squad.

New Zealand are also expected to reshuffle their team for the tri-contest.

India last week named their team, captained by returnee Saurav Ganguly, but minus star batsman Sachin Tendulkar who may, however, make the side for the two-match Test series if he is fit.

India ODI squad:

Saurav Ganguly (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Raul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Dinesh Karthik (wkt), Anil Kumble, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh.

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