Sammy returns for Zim T20s, Gayle rested

West Indies skipper Darren Sammy returned to the side for the T20 series against Zimbabwe.

Cricbuzz/Staff Writer

Regular opening batsman Chris Gayle, who was not part of the ODI series, was rested for the T20 series as well. A WICB release said that Gayle had requested to extend his rest and not play the Zimbabwe T20s.

The two-match T20 series will also feature pacer Shannon Gabriel and Christopher Barnwell.

The duo performed impressively in the Caribbean T20 tournament and have been rewarded with a call-up to the national team. The matches will take place in Antigua from March 2 to 3. The hosts won the recently concluded ODI series 3-0.

Zimbabwe will pick its team from the same 15-member squad and will be looking to win in this format of the game.

Vusi Sibanda and Craig Ervine have shone the brightest with the bat, while captain Brendan Taylor is catching up after a slow start.

While results have proved hard to come by against a more illustrious and experienced West Indies side, Zimbabwe’s performances have improved with each outing which would give them confidence going into this series.

Ervine missed the last of the three ODIs where Zimbabwe lost by five wickets, but his return would strengthen the middle order.

Zimbabwe left out its big hitters Elton Chigumbura and Charles Coventry from the touring squad but Malcolm Waller and Ervine in particular have shown they can achieve the required acceleration in this format of the game.

But what has eluded the team so far is penetration with the ball where seamers Chris Mpofu and Kyle Jarvis have struggled to lay the platform.

The two will be hoping to put batsmen under pressure and take wickets as opposed to allowing the hosts to easily build partnerships.
Zimbabwe’s two leg spinners Tino Mutombodzi and Natsai Mushangwe have shown promise and Mutombodzi is likely to win a place among the 11 for the first match tomorrow.

West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (capt), Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Christopher Barnwell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Tino Best, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Andre Russell.