UNCAPPED top order batsman Brian Chari and spinner Wellington Masakadza look set to be given a chance at Test cricket after being named in Zimbabwe’s squad to play Bangladesh in three Tests and five one-day international (ODI)s from October 25.
Although Zimbabwe Cricket were until late yesterday yet to release the squad which leaves for the subcontinent today, the former Zimbabwe Under-19 youthful duo were strongly tipped to make the touring party.
Chari (22) recently continued his good form with the bat during the four-day practice game in Chiredzi which ended on Tuesday after a strong showing for the Zimbabwe A in their recent tour of Bangladesh where he scored 174 runs in the two four-day games at an average of 43,50.
This saw the promising Matabeleland Tuskers opener winning the faith of the selectors as he showed genuine understanding of the spin friendly subcontinent conditions when most of his peers struggled.
Wellington, the younger brother of Hamilton and Shingi, is also expected to be part of the squad to Bangladesh where he is expected to bolster the team’s spin bowling department.
Zimbabwe recently suffered a blow when former captain Prosper Utseya was reported for a suspected illegal action in August before being subsequently banned from bowling by the ICC after undergoing testing in Cardiff.
In Utseya’s absence John Nyumbu, who took five wickets on debut against South Africa, takes over as the teams primary spin option in Bangladesh supported by Masakadza while the likes of Sean Williams are also expected to contribute in that department.
Craig Ervine is also expected to complete his comeback after recently returning to the Zimbabwean fold after an 18-month absence in which he played club cricket in Ireland and Australia.
The elegant left hander, who was the team’s top scorer during their tour of West Indies last year, is expected to bolster the team’s middle-order.
Zimbabwe will embark on their maiden tour under new coach Stephen Mangongo who took over from Andy Waller as substantive national coach in August.
After leading the side to a famous home ODI victory over Australia at Harare Sports Club, their first win over the Aussies since 1983 the Bangladesh tour will be Mangongo’s first away assignment since taking over the reigns as national coach.
Mangongo and his charges will head to the subcontinent in confident mood after an intense pre-tour preparatory camp which was concluded with a four-day practice match in the Chiredzi
The Chiredzi camp had been preceded by a weeklong spin camp held by South African coach Justin Summons and a lengthy training camp in the capital.