By Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe national cricket team is facing an uphill task in their bid to level the two-match Test series against the visiting Pakistan side due to the absence of several experienced players ahead of the season Test which gets underway at Harare Sports Club on Friday.
Zimbabwe Cricket revealed on Thursday that the national side will be without the injured trio of Sean Williams, Prince Masvaure, and Craig Ervine who have joined the likes of Sikandar Raza and Kyle Jarvis on the growing list of injured players.
In a bid to bolster the weakened side selectors have included Wessly Madhevere in the squad while Takudzwanashe Kaitano, who joined the squad as cover on the eve of the first game last week, has been retained.
Williams, whose leadership and the experience was missed in the first Test which Zimbabwe lost by an innings inside three days is still recuperating from a soft tissue injury to his left hand that has dogged him throughout this series.
Opening batsman Masvaure was ruled out after the left-hand injury he suffered while fielding on the second day of the first Test turned out to be a thumb dislocation fracture.
Masvaure did not come out to bat in Zimbabwe’s second innings of the first Test.
Left-handed batsman Ervine was expected to be back for the second five-day match, but he has not yet fully recovered from the calf injury that he sustained in the first Twenty20 international game against Pakistan a fortnight ago.
With the skipper Williams out, Brendan Taylor will once again stand in as Zimbabwe captain for the second Test.
After losing the three-match Twenty20 International series 2-1 and being thrashed by an innings and 116 runs in last week’s opening Test, Zimbabwe will be hoping to finish the series on a high by putting on a good performance in the second Test match despite the absence of several key players.
The Chevrons will be aiming to put on a better batting display after their frailties were brutally exposed in the opening Test.
The Chevrons lost the opening by an innings and 116 runs inside three of the scheduled five days after putting on a lifeless performance with the bat, managing paltry scores of 176 and 134 in the two innings of the match.
This left Pakistan needing to bat only once in the match after scoring 426 runs in their first innings.
Zimbabwe Test Squad:
Taylor Brendan (captain), Chakabva Regis, Chisoro Tendai, Chivanga Tanaka, Jongwe Luke, Kaia Roy, Kaitano Takudzwanashe, Kasuza Kevin, Madhevere Wessly, Masakadza Wellington, Musakanda Tarisai, Muzarabani Blessing, Ngarava Richard, Nyauchi Victor, Shumba Milton, Tiripano Donald