‘They bring different angles to test cricket’
Convener of selectors Tatenda Taibu says the return of Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis as well as the introduction of Solomon Mire to Test cricket augurs well for the future of Zimbabwe in the five-day format of the game.
By Enock Muchinjo
Batting kingpin Taylor and pace spearhead Jarvis recently terminated Kolpak deals in English county cricket to resume their international careers while all-rounder Mire, who has played most of his adult cricket in Australia, was only until now available for Zimbabwe on ad-hoc basis.
Taylor and Jarvis showed glimpses of their class in the 117-run first Test defeat to the West Indies this week while Mire, who has already impressed for Zimbabwe in One-Day International cricket, proved he could be a valuable asset to the Test side.
“They bring their different angles into Test cricket,” said Taibu.
“You just have to look at the figures so far, they speak for themselves.”
Taibu equated attacking opener Mire’s entry into Test cricket to that of Australian David Warner, one of the most hard-hitting batsmen in the world, who initially gained his aggressive reputation in the limited-over versions.
“I think Solo will bring in a different way of playing, which is attacking. It’s a different dimension that a lot teams struggle to comprehend,” said Taibu.
“You know, when David Warner started playing in the Tests and plays the way he does, sometimes that can be so destructive to the bowling sides. It’s an added pressure.”
Taibu was also full of praise for Taylor and Jarvis, expected to be Zimbabwe’s two key men for the rest of their international careers.
Having scored just one in the first innings in his comeback Test, Taylor returned to form against the West Indies with a workmanlike 73 in the second innings while Jarvis bowled well in quite difficult conditions at Queens Sports Club.
“We all know what BT can do,” said Taibu of Taylor.
“In terms of spending time on the crease, which is what is needed, BT does that. We saw him doing that in the second innings, where he knuckled down and started really spending time on the crease.”
The former captain said of Jarvis: “And Jarv, on a flat deck in Bulawayo he bowled 21 overs . I mean, that’s a lot of overs. If it (the pitch) was assisting the bowlers, he would have added more wickets.”
Taibu, however, says nothing solid has been sealed with regards to opening batsman Eddie Byrom playing for Zimbabwe.
Harare-born Byrom, who made it into the first team of Somerset in England just a few months ago, last week signed a season’s contract with Zimbabwean domestic side Rising Stars, an academy run by Taibu and recently incorporated into the country’s first-class structure.
“We didn’t talk about that (playing for Zimbabwe). We only talked about the academy,” said Taibu of Byrom.
The highly-rated 20-year-old, son of former Zimbabwean sports journalist Glen Byrom, is among several Zimbabwean youngsters now plying their trade in England—some of them hoping to qualify for that country through ancestry.
Meanwhile, selectors are expected to ring a few changes for the second Test against the West Indies, starting at Queens on Sunday.
“We haven’t seen the pitch yet,” said Taibu.
“Probably later today (yesterday) we will be able to see the pitch and make a decision on those changes.”