ZIMBABWE seamer Kyle Jarvis has been ruled out of his team’s tour of Bangladesh later this month due to a lower back injury he sustained during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Harare two weeks ago and which caused him to miss the drawn second Test.
An MRI scan confirmed a bulging disc and the 30-year-old will have further scans to assess his recovery in six weeks, after which he is expected to commence training ahead of an upcoming tour by Ireland in April.
The strike bowler’s absence will be strongly felt when Zimbabwe embark on their first Test tour of Bangladesh since November 2018. Jarvis was Zimbabwe’s leading wicket-taker in that series, taking 10 wickets at an average of 15,50, including a five-wicket haul in Dhaka.
The only Test begins on February 22 in Dhaka and will be followed by three ODIs and two T20Is.In the absence of Jarvis, fellow pacer Tendai Chatara, who missed Sri Lanka’s tour after failing to pass a fitness test, will likely return to lead Zimbabwe’s attack.
It will also present another opportunity to cement his place in the side for new national team seamer Victor Nyauchi. The 27-year-old right-armer had a promising start to his international career, taking five wickets in the two Tests against the Sri Lankans.
Carl Mumba, who played in the second Test against Sri Lanka following the injury to Jarvis, could also make the touring party as an extra fast bowling option.
In the spin department, the selectors will face the tough choice of whether or not to include the rookie leggie Ainsley Ndlovu. The 24-year-old Matabeleland Tuskers player had a tough Test debut against Sri Lanka, bowling one innings alone and going wicket-less in 168 balls. Ndlovu was duly dropped for the second Test and replaced by Tino Mutombodzi, who could put up his hand for selection alongside Brandon Mavuta for the first-choice leg-spinner slot.
It will depend on what the selectors are looking for on the spin-friendly pitches of Bangladesh.As the specialist bowler between the two, Mavuta will be the more obvious option to tour the country he made his Test debut in in 2018 as Zimbabwe’s frontline leg-spinner.
As for Mutombodzi, he has in recent seasons reinvented himself as an all-rounder and, although he was also unsuccessful with the ball on Test debut in the second tie against Sri Lanka, he did however show glimpses of his batting ability so could get the nod of the selectors on the basis of those versatile traits. — Cricbuzz/Staff Writer.