Zimbabwe have picked two uncapped players a�� 21-year-old fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani and left-hand batsman Ryan Burl a�� in their 15-man squad for the one-off, four-day, day-night Test starting Boxing Day in South Africa.
The squad will be captained by Graeme Cremer and has no space for Sean Williams, Malcolm Waller, Michael Chinouya and Nyasha Mayavo, who were all involved in Zimbabwe’s last Test series against West Indies. Instead, they will send a trimmed but promising group to South Africa, with a combination of experience in the form of Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine and Chris Mpofu, and sprinklings of youth.
Muzarabani has played five first-class matches for Zimbabwe’s new provincial team Rising Stars to take 18 wickets at an average of 18 and has been included both for his potential and to gain experience on an international tour. a�?He is an exciting young quick. Hea��s very tall a�� Curtley Ambrose tall a�� and we think he is someone that can be very good for us in future,a�? Heath Streak, Zimbabwea��s coach, told ESPNcricinfo.
Muzarabani will join an attack that will be led by veteran Mpofu and Kyle Jarvis, and backed up by Tendai Chatara, who has not played a Test since November 2014. Chatara struggled with several injuries in the last three years but has been active on the ODI circuit and keeping in action while Zimbabwea��s domestic cricket takes a break was an important part of his inclusion.
In the spin department, Zimbabwe will look to captain Cremer, offspinning allrounder Sikandar Raza and left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro, with neither Williams nor Waller in the mix. The pair was left out owing to a�?struggles for forma�? and Burl was included as batting back-up. Burl has played nine ODIs but no Tests and has a first-class average of over 40. a�?He has been doing quite well recently and also gives us a left-handed option,a�? Streak said.
Squad: Graeme Cremer (capt), Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chisoro, Peter Moor, Solomon Mire, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu.