Taylor to play as an opener, Maruma rumoured to make ODI returnPosted by brmtaylor.com admin on January 19, 2008
Finally, the Masakadza experiment will come to an end. For the past few matches, Hamilton Masakadza has been promoted to open the innings with Vusi Sibanda, due to his near perfect technique. However, the radical move - which occurred strangely after Brendan Taylor had been having so much success in the position - will come to an end on Monday. We have now received confirmation that Brendan Taylor will return to the opening position, and Hamilton Masakadza will return to the middle order.
Prosper Utseya said in a press conference at the team hotel that "Brendan Taylor would play as a specialist opener while Tatenda Taibu would keep wickets in the series".
Taylor last kept wicket as a tactical move in the ICC World Twenty20. As Tatenda Taibu is a more athletic fielder, the selectors choose to use his fielding abilities in the shorter format. When not keeping wickets, Taylor is a specialist first slip fielder and has on occasion been called on to bowl.
There has been no word on the exact makeup of the team, but judging by the warm up game where Taylor, Gary Brent, Sean Williams and Ray Price were included - all of whom played well - it appears the selectors have done away with the racial quota system of three white players.
It has been rumoured that Zimbabwe will be playing Timycen Maruma, in which will be his first ODI since the South Africa series, in the 1st ODI. This has yet to be confirmed or denied by the Zimbabwe selectors.
Zimbabwe XI (probable): B Taylor, V Sibanda, C Chibhabha, T Taibu, H Masakadza, E Chigumbura, P Utseya, G Brent, R Price, T Maruma, C Mpofu