'Glad I'm not a selector'

HARARE - Selecting a team to go on tour is always a tricky and somewhat controversial business as someone always get’s overlooked.

The national team will be embarking on what will no doubt be a testing and difficult tour when they take on the West Indies in two T20 internationals, three one day internationals, and two Test matches.

The West Indies are once again becoming a force to be reckoned with as their blend of youth and experience are beginning to gel together and produce positive results.

Zimbabwe on the other hand, have been deprived of international cricket and to top it all, the so called senior and established players have been struggling for form in the various on-going domestic tournaments.
 So picking a team to go on tour may cause some interesting problems for the team of selectors.

Despite the lack of form shown by so many of the senior players, it would be asking for trouble if they were not included.

It is more than likely that a squad of 15 will be announced, but before the official squad is announced, arm chair critics such as myself normally take great pleasure in speculating and debating as to who will be fortunate enough to be packing their bags to enjoy the sun and sea of the Caribbean islands before doing battle.

Vusi Sibanda and Tino Mawoyo have been pretty dependable and reliable in the three test matches they played when opening the batting, and so there is no reason why that should be tampered with.

Hamilton Masakadza has been in reasonable form for the Mountaineers and has also been a solid performer for the test team, and will therefore slot in at the number three position.

Brendan Taylor is the only player who would be able to walk into the team blindfolded and still score runs given the form he is in.

It has been amazing to see Brendan transform from a young, slightly immature and at times hot-headed kid, to a very well grounded, mature and level-headed adopt who has led from the front by his consistency with the bat since taking over the captaincy.

The number five position is a big concern after the untimely retirement of Tatenda Taibu.

Craig Ervine would normally have slotted in at number five, but the left-hander has been finding the going tough at domestic level, and it would be very surprising if he was included.

But, the question still remains. Who would be best suited to bat at number five?

Malcolm Waller has been in good touch for the Midwest Rhinos, and would probably be the man the selectors have in mind. But, numbers six and seven are headaches and real concerns as they would normally go to a wicket keeper and all-rounder.

But, the truth of the matter is that none of the genuine allrounders have scored runs or taken wickets and so quite frankly don’t deserve to be going.

But it wouldn’t be to surprising if the likes of Elton Chigumbura were once again included, simply to make up the numbers. So if I was suddenly  thrust into the position of selecting a squad of 15 players, I have to admit that I would find it very difficult and challenging.

But, decisions have to be made, and my team would be as follows.

1. Vusi Sibanda.
2. Tino Mawoyo.
3. Hamilton Masakadza.
4. Brendan Taylor. (Capt).
5. Malcolm Waller.
6. Charles Coventry.
7. Regis Chakabva, (Test matches only).
8. Shingi Masakadza.
9. Tinotenda Mutombodzi.
10. Greame Cremer, if available after injury. If not available, Raymond
Price would have to go because of his experience.
11. Chris Mpofu.
12. Kyle Jarvis.
13. Sean Williams.
14. Edward Rainsford.

Although Edward is injury prone, he has been in the form of his life, and thermally deserves another chance and his first test cap.

15. Prosper Utseya. One also has to remember Keagan Meth who has been outstanding for the Tuskers throughout the season and possibly think of Glenn Querl.

The tour is going to be a difficult one for the team, but it is good to see that two test matches will be played instead of the usual one off Test. - Dean du Plessis

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