Make-or- break for cricketers

National cricket team selectors will rip into the squad that toured the West Indies after running out of patience with senior members of the squad that continue to fail at the big stage.

Kevin Mapasure

Only pace-man Kyle Jarvis is guaranteed a place in the squad when Zimbabwe host Bangladesh in two Tests, the first starting on April 17.

All the other players will have to prove themselves in two warm-up matches which will pit the possibles versus the probables starting on Sunday, after which the final squad will be announced.

According to interim head coach Steve Mangongo the selectors are agreed that there should be drastic changes in the team.

“I applaud the selectors who agree with me that we do not have a team; we only have one player at the moment who can walk into the team and that is Kyle Jarvis, the rest should not be surprised if they are left out of the squad for the Tests,” said Mangongo.

“We called up 29 players and that is a clear message that we need to look elsewhere. Patience with some of the guys that have been around for a long time has run out, we know there are challenges and there will always be challenges in international cricket, but we should be performing better than is the case now.”

Left arm quickie Brian Vitori who helped Zimbabwe win the last Tests between the two in 2011 is back in contention for a place after an injury inspired lay-off, while all-rounder Elton Chigumbura who also did well with the ball has earned a recall after omission from the last tour.

There are younger players in the training squad that include Kelvin Kasuza and Nathan Waller as well as Tymcen Maruma, all pushing for places.

Mangongo said Zimbabwe could not afford to lose to Bangladesh again as the world would question their Test status again.

“There is no reason why we should fail to beat Bangladesh at home; this series is for us to restore our dignity. If we want to avoid having the powers that be relegating us we need to beat Bangladesh and prove that we deserve to be playing at the highest level.”

Mangongo is worried about his batting line up which struggled against spin in the West Indies, going into a series against a side that has got a good attack in that regard.

“We have zoned in on playing spin, we were exposed in the West Indies so we employed specific training methods aimed at improving how we play spin. We should be able to bat at least 140 overs and that means one or more of the top four should be able to bat at least two sessions. We are confident with our bowling; we are capable of getting 20 wickets. It is the batting that needs to improve, but all said we are confident of beating Bangladesh in our home conditions.”

Zimbabwe has won nine of their 52 Tests while Bangladesh has recorded just three wins from 63, records both are desperate to improve on.
Squad: Brendan Taylor, Tino Mawoyo, Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller, Kyle Jarvis, Keegan Meth, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams, Timycen Maruma, Raymond Price, Graeme Cremer, Chamu Chibhabha, Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai M’shangwe, Sikandar Raza, Shingi Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Charles Coventry, Brian Chari, Kevin Kasuza, Richard Muzhange, Nathan Waller, Richmond Mutumbami, Edward Rainsford, Tawanda Mupariwa.

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