Friday, January 14, 2011

Zimbabwe Squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Zimbabwe Cricket Union already announced their final squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, which will begin from 19 February 2011. Their final squad consists of 15 players. The list of players are given below-

Zimbabwe 15-man squad: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Regis Chakabva, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Sean Ervine, Gregory Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Christopher Mpofu, Raymond Price, Edward Rainsford, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, and Sean Williams.

Non-travelling reserves: Terrence Duffin, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Njabulo Ncube, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda.

The squad includes six batsmen, three specialist spinners and three fast bowlers.

Fans will be surprised to see the exclusion of some top players like Njabulo Ncube, Terrence Duffin, Tino Mawoyo, Tinashe Panyangarara and Vusi Sibanda. The reason of not selecting them in the main squad was their poor performance. However, they have been named in the non- travelling reserves.

The surprising inclusion of this squad is perhaps Sean Ervine. This former Zimbabwean player has been recalled in the national squad after six years. His last game against Bangladesh at Bulawayo was in 2004. It is expected that his all-rounder form in the South Asian sub-continent will help Zimbabwe to play well. It is not sure that he can give his team the best form as he had no relation with national cricket team for long time. However, his absence in the national cricket will make impact in his form as he has played domestic cricket in Australia for Western Australia. Now, his present club is Hampshire. It is a cricket club in the English county cricket.

Sean Ervine has played 42 ODI matches and 5 Tests for Zimbabwe. In ODI cricket, he has scored 698 runs at an average of 25.85 and with the ball, he has taken 41 wickets. His form in test cricket is not bad at all. He can play an important role in the lower order position and as an occasional bowler. As per three-year contract, he has joined to play for Zimbabwe. The interesting thing is that his younger brother, Craig Ervine, has also been included in the main squad.

However, hardly anyone could think that Zimbabwe will tour without their experienced opening batsman, Hamilton Masakadza. Because of his poor form, selectors did not include him in the World Cup squad. In 2010, he was out of form. No doubt, selectors will have to find someone to replace him in the opening position. However, Masakadza was not picked in 2003 because at this time he was at university in South Africa and in 2007 because he was out of form and lack of consistency in the ODI format of cricket game.

Elton Chigumbura was named the captain of Zimbabwe cricket team. It is obviously a big challenge for this young player. Fans are eagerly waiting to see how he can handle this pressure.

Tatenda Taibu has been included as the main wicketkeeper while Regis Chakabva and Charles Coventry will be back-up option for any emergency. Tatenda Taibu has the highest possibility to make open with Brendon Taylor.

Except Sean Ervine, there are two other all-rounders in the squad and they are Greg Lamb and Chigumbura.

However, Zimbabwe bowling action does not look much stronger. Chris Mpofu, Ed Rainsford and Shingirai Masakadza are only three fast bowlers in the squad. Keeping the South Asia condition in mind, selectors have picked Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer and Ray Price as specialist spinners.

Zimbabwe has been placed in Group A along with Australia, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

They will start their ICC World Cup 2011 campaign against Australia on 21 February at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad.