Preview of Zimbabwe's tour to Bangladesh

Posted by Detective RDS on January 01, 2009

Zimbabwe is going to tour Bangladesh in order to play a tri series with the home team also including Sri Lanka and a 3 match ODI series against Bangladesh. Zimbabwe's tour starts with a 3 day tour match against Bangladesh Cricket Board Academy.

Here is the complete fixture:

Tour Match:
Tue 6 Jan - Thu 8 Jan: Bangladesh Cricket Board Academy vs Zimbabweans (Venue: Bogra)

Tri-Series (BAN-ZIM-SL):

Sat 10 Jan: Bangladesh v Zimbabwe (Venue: Mirpur, Dhaka)
Mon 12 Jan: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe (Venue: Mirpur, Dhaka)
Wed 14 Jan: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka (Venue: Mirpur, Dhaka)
Sat 17 Jan: Final (Venue: Mirpur, Dhaka)

ODI Series (BAN vs ZIM):

Mon 19 Jan: 1st ODI (Venue: Mirpur, Dhaka)
Wed 21 Jan: 2nd ODI (Venue: Mirpur, Dhaka)
Fri 23 Jan: 3rd ODI (Venue: Mirpur, Dhaka)

This is the 15 man squad of Zimbabwe which is touring to Bangladesh:

Prosper Utseya (Capt), Hamilton Masakadza (V-Capt), Vusimuzi Sibanda, Sean Williams, Tatenda Taibu (WK), Stuart Matsikenyeri, Elton Chigumbura, Keith Dabengwa, Tawanda Mupariwa, Edward Rainsford, Christopher Mpofu, Raymond Price, Graeme Cremer, Malcolm Waller, Forster Mutizwa (WK).

3 day Tour Match vs BCB Academy

There is a 3 day tour match is scheduled in the fixture for Zimbabweans which they will play against BCB Academy. This match will help the Zimbabweans to settle themselves in the pitches of Bangladesh. The players will get the chance of practicing sufficiently and the young players will also get the chance of making an impact. The players can feel the heat of a Test match here and can cope with the situation accordingly which will definitely help them when Zimbabwe will resume playing Test matches again.

This will be my Zimbabweans 11 for the tour match: (11 batting, 11 bowling)

1. Vusimuzi Sibanda
2. Hamilton Masakadza
3. Sean Williams
4. Tatenda Taibu (WK)
5. Malcolm Waller
6. Elton Chigumbura
7. Forster Mutizwa
8. Prosper Utseya (Capt)
9. Graeme Cremer
10. Raymond Price
11. Tawanda Mupariwa

12. Edward Rainsford

The top 4 batsmen (Sibanda, Masakadza, Williams, Taibu) need to fire up if Zimbabwe wants to win the match. So, these 4 batsmen will have a good batting practice here and can settle down themselves in the Bangladeshi pitches. In the 6th spot, Elton Chigumbura enjoyed a good series against Sri Lanka with the ball but not with the bat. Here is a chance for Chigumbura to get back into the allround performance.

In the Zimbabwean squad only Stuart Matsikenyeri is out of form and the inclusion of uncapped Malcolm Waller and Forster Mutizwa shows that there is a doubt over the 5th spot in the selectors mind. I have picked both Waller and Mutizwa to make an impact and fight for the 5th spot in the ODIs while Matsikenyeri didn't ever make an impact in the ODI arena by averaging 20.50 in 78 ODIs with the bat. Mutizwa should play as a specialist batsman. Taibu will keep the wicket as he has done well behind the stumps against Sri Lanka.

Then comes the bowling perspective, the pace department has 3 inform pacers (Tawanda Mupariwa, Edward Rainsford, Elton Chigumbura). All 3 can set themselves in the subcontinental pitches. In the Test series which Bangladesh is playing against Sri Lanka, sporting pitches are made there which provides some pace and bounce for the seamers. If sporting pitches are made in the ODIs too, these 3 seamers can play a vital role. Spinners always like to bowl in the subcontinental pitches as there is decent turn. I am sure that Raymond Price is definitely going to turn and take wickets here. Utseya always maintains a good economy rate, but he isn't consistent in taking wickets. It's a good chance for him to return to taking wickets. It will be tough for Graeme Cremer to make it into the 11 as there is Price and Utseya. I have picked Cremer to make an impression and create pressure over Prosper Utseya.

Stuart Matsikenyeri, Keith Dabengwa and Christopher Mpofu are left out of this team. Matsikenyeri is out of form and as I said Matsikenyeri didn't ever make an impact in the ODI arena by averaging 20.50 in 78 ODIs with the bat. So, I depend more on Waller and Mutizwa than him. If they both fail to make an impression, then there is a chance of including Matsikenyeri in the 11 for the ODIs. Dabengwa is an automatic selection for the ODIs as he was the top scorer for Zimbabwe in last two ODIs against Sri Lanka. I have picked Cremer as his leg spin is more effective than Dabengwa's left arm orthodox spin and also to give him a chance as he is a promising player. As the pacers of Zimbabwe are inform, I didn't add Mpofu. Mpofu can make into the 11 if any pacer can't perform well.


1. Vusimuzi Sibanda
2. Hamilton Masakadza
3. Sean Williams
4. Tatenda Taibu (WK)
5. Malcolm Waller
6. Elton Chigumbura
7. Keith Dabengwa
8. Prosper Utseya (Capt)
9. Raymond Price
10. Tawanda Mupariwa
11. Edward Rainsford

Graeme Cremer (12th man)

Players who are best suited in the subcontinental piches:

From the batting point of view, Tatenda Taibu and Sean Williams will be best suited in the subcontinental pitches. Tatenda Taibu is a very good batsman and has played in Bangladesh in 2004. Taibu has a Test century (153) against Bangladesh. Sean Williams has a very good batting technique and has played in Bangladesh. Williams can use his bottom hand very well and has some decent fifties against Pakistan in Pakistan last year. Subcontinental pitches will also suit Elton Chigumbura. Chigumbura can be effective in the last ten overs and he can bat aggressively. I can remember Chigumbura made an aggressive 40 in the Afro-Asia Cup 2007 in India. Hamilton Masakadza is a talented player, but I think he doesn't have good scores in the subcontinental pitches yet.

In the bowling perspective, Mupariwa, Rainsford and Chigumbura can enjoy bowling in the subcontinental pitches. But the main threat will be Raymond Price as he can really turn the ball and I am sure that he is going to take wickets here. Utseya maintained a good economy rate when he played in Bangladesh in 2006.

Roles of debutants Waller and Mutizwa:

Malcolm Waller is a promising batting allrounder and I think he should make into the ODI 11. Waller should bat at 5th spot mainly as a batsman. Forster Mutizwa is the second wicket-keeper in the Zimbabwean squad along with Tatenda Taibu. Taibu is a good wicket-keeper and has done well behind the stumps against Sri Lanka. If Mutizwa plays, he will play as a specialist batsman. His chance to make into the 11 is less but if he does perform or does something extraordinary in the tour match, his chance will increased to make into the ODI 11. This tour will be a good learning experience for these two debutants and their selection much depends on their performance in the tour match.

Result which will be good for Zimbabwe:

The tour match is very important for the Zimbabweans. All the players should perform in that match to do well in the ODIs. Zimbabwe should play all the matches for winning. It's an important tournament for Zimbabwe especially for captain Prosper Utseya (needs to fire up by taking wickets and show positive approaches as a captain) and coach Walter Chawaguta (how he can handle the team). This Zimbabwean side looks balanced and Zimbabwe should stick around with these players. If Zimbabwe lose, they will have to be competitive enough and there must be individual performances. Finally, there must be a good spirit of team and should be aggressive in the field as it's often said 'Catches win matches'. A good result for Zimbabwe will be to win every match against Bangladesh although Bangladesh is desperate to beat Zimbabwe and win an ODI against Sri Lanka. It will be a good result.