By Trevor Makonyonga
Consistency has earned Tarisai Musakanda a place in the Zimbabwe Cricket national team after seemingly being blackballed for his drunk driving charges in Australia.
Musakanda was named in the squad to face Afghanistan in March. He had not played any Test match aside of his debut in 2017 in Sri Lanka. In a statement, ZC said that Musakanda had come back to reclaim his place.
“Tarisai Musakanda… has bounced back to reclaim his place in the national side following some impressive performances. After being named the National Premier League batsman of the tournament, the 26-year-old has continued with his good form with the bat, hitting back-to-back centuries for the Sothern’s select side in the four-day matches that Zimbabwe have been using to prepare for the upcoming tour.”
The travelling squad will, however, miss veterans Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine. Also missing will be the experience of Tendai Chatara and Chamu Chibhabha due to sickness.
In explaining the reasons for absence, ZC said, “Conspicuous by their absence from the squad are the veteran duo of Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine who both failed to join the national team camp due to illness and could thus not be considered for the tour.
“Tendai Chatara and Chamu Chibhabha have also missed out as they are still yet to fully recover from right upper-arm and thigh muscle injuries respectively. PJ Moor was ruled out too after he suffered a hamstring injury during apractice match this week.”
The team is, nevertheless, well equipped with young talents who can set the fire ablaze with both bat and ball. 26-year-old Ryan Burl is set to play only his second Test after selectors included him among the 15 players picked for the five-day matches. The explosive Wessly Madhevere is also set to earn his Test cap.
The travelling squad also includes other youthful players in Blessing Muzarabani, 24, Brandon Mavuta, 23, Richard Ngarava, 23, Wellington Masakadza, 27, and Kevin Kasuza, 27. Captain Sean Williams together with Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva and Donald Tiripano will provide Zimbabwe with the much-needed experience for the series.
Zimbabwe are set to leave for Abu Dhabi via Dubai this Friday, February 19.
The trio of Milton Shumba, Faraz Akram and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe will join the squad later for the T20I series.
The first Test is scheduled for 2-6 March, with the second five-day match penciled in for 10-14 March.
The T20I games will be played on 17, 19 and 20 March.
Zimbabwe Test Squad for Afghanistan Tour 2021:
Sean Williams (captain), Ryan Burl, Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva,Kevin Kasuza, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, PrinceMasvaure, Brandon Mavuta, Tarisai Musakanda, Richmond Mutumbami,Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Donald Tiripano