Sports

It's On - Rising West Indies face resurgent Zimbabwe

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AFP) — Batsman Brendan Taylor and fast bowler Kyle Jarvis will make their return to international cricket today when Zimbabwe take on the West Indies in the first of two Tests in Bulawayo.

Jarvis has not played for Zimbabwe since signing a Kolpak deal with English county side Lancashire in 2013, while Taylor followed suit in 2015 when he moved to Nottinghamshire.

However both players have been lured back as part of Zimbabwe Cricket's attempts to revive the national team, which last year included hiring former Zimbabwe captains Tatenda Taibu and Heath Streak as national selector and head coach, respectively.

Those appointments appear to be bearing some fruit — in July, Zimbabwe won their first One-Day International series in Sri Lanka, and nearly pulled off an upset in a one-off Test as well.

The additions of Taylor, Jarvis and Solomon Mire, who was previously based in Australia, have given Zimbabwe the belief that they could cause an upset in their first home Test of the year.

“I feel that we've probably got an even better team now than we had in Sri Lanka,” Zimbabwe Captain Graeme Cremer said yesterday.

“We'll take that confidence from Sri Lanka, but we know we can perform even better than that.”

The West Indies are undergoing something of a resurgence themselves.

Written off in the wake of an innings and 209-run thrashing by England at Edgbaston in August, they bounced back to win a pulsating second Test at Headingley, proving what they are capable of.

“I think we've had a pretty reasonable year in terms of improvement. The guys have been getting attuned to Test cricket,” West Indies Captain Jason Holder said.

“We're still not the finished product but we're headed in the right direction.”

At the heart of their improvement has been the faith shown by the selectors in a young group of players, with Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope emerging as two batsmen of promise.

Meanwhile, the pace of Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel is likely to unsettle Zimbabwe's batsmen, and the fast bowlers may also find some assistance in the hot, dry conditions at Queens Sports Club.

“With the Kookaburra balls, reverse swing is always a factor — they tend to reverse earlier than most and go a bit softer,” said Holder. “I would expect some reverse swing in these dry conditions.”

Spin is also expected to play a part, so Zimbabwe could give left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro his first Test cap.

Squads:

Zimbabwe — Graeme Cremer (captain), Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Malcolm Waller, Peter Moor, Regis Chakabva, Michael Chinouya, Chris Mpofu, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chisoro, Nyasha Mayavo.

West Indies — Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT