Zim in wicketkeeper quandary

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket are keen to address the wicketkeeper quandary the team found themselves in after the departure of wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor for England but will not make hasty decisions.

The 29-year-old former Test captain took up a Kolpak deal with the English County Cricket side Nottinghamshire.

Prior to his departure, he was Zimbabwe’s leading run scorer and fifth overall at the World Cup with 433 runs averaging 72.16 with back to back centuries against Ireland and India in his last two matches in Zimbabwe colours.

Zimbabwe selectors had to shuffle between Regis Chakabva and Richmond Mutumbami for the two home limited overs series against India and New Zealand.

In the Twenty20s, Charles Coventry did the glove work during the India series while Chakabva took over the gloves in the lone T20 encounter against New Zealand last Sunday.

The standard Taylor set for his successors is hard to follow and the selectors are keen to give the available wicketkeepers a good run to prove their worth.

Chakabva has managed to score just five runs in two games against New Zealand after making scores of three and three.

In the Twenty20 matches, he was able to get a total of 40 runs after innings of 13 against New Zealand and 27 against India.

His counterpart, Mutumbami scored 39 runs from two innings against India with scores of seven and 32.

The experiment to have Coventry keep wicket was not successful either as he managed 14 runs from the two Twenty20s against India after four and 10 in both matches.

ZC convenor of selectors Kenyon Ziehl said they will work with the human resources available and mould them into competitive wicketkeepers who can bat.

“We have identified the area there as we lost Brendan Taylor and we got Richmond Mutumbami and Reggy to have a look at them,” he said.

“We would like to sort of give players a run, we have a look at them and then we can assess them while also we have players pushing for recognition and that’s what we want.

“We want to create a situation where we will have the players pushing each other. They’re very similar and there are pros and cons each one has and it’s very difficult to choose one before the other.

“But we need to give the player an opportunity to play to show what he’s worth or he is doing then we can decide on the other players waiting in the wings.

“We also need to give the other wicketkeepers a chance to see what’s happening, to see what they can produce and then we can compare.”

Ziehl added: “But until we see what a player can produce we can’t make a decision that’s why it’s so good for Zimbabwe Cricket to have all these games lined up for the players so we are coming in to the era now where there’s a lot more cricket and we can make up much more uniform judgment on the players which is very important.”

Zimbabwe are scheduled to host Pakistan at the end of next month and the selectors need a solution to this troublesome position in earnest.

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