Wicketkeeper batsman Tatenda Taibu will make his first appearance after being named in the Zimbabwe XI-squad for the three-day warm up cricket match against Bangladesh starting on Saturday.
Taibu has not featured for Zimbabwe since the ICC World Cup in India after he suffered a thumb injury during pre-season training, which resulted in him missing the two four day matches against Australia A and the tri-series also involving South Africa A.
Taibu is one of the most experienced players in the Zimbabwean team and an influential figure in the dressing room, and his return would be a major boost for the team ahead of return to Test cricket.
Off-spinner Prosper Utseya was the only spinner named in the side, which has four seamers in Keegan Meth, Tendai Chatara, Njabulo Ndlovu and Kyle Jarvis.
The quartet will be aiming to make some last minute impressions before the lone Test match as the selectors seem to have settled on Christopher Mpofu and Brian Vitori.
Zimbabwe are likely to go with three seamers which means one of the four seamers to feature in the warm-up match might find himself in the team.
In the batting line-up Vusimuzi Sibanda and Tino Mawoyo will open the batting while skipper Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura have all been rested.
Middle order batsman Craig Ervine will have an opportunity for some game time after struggling with his game in the matches against Australia, with Forster Mtizwa also in the mix, while Regis Chakabva has been brought in at number three.
Speaking about the composition of the side chairman of selectors Alistair Campbell said:
“Obviously it’s good that Taibu is back to full fitness and he’ll be looking forward to getting a run, while Craig Ervine, who has been short of runs lately, would also want to get himself in form.
“We have deliberately rested some of the players as we feel it’s an opportunity for some of the guys to make an impression before the final squad is named,” said Campbell.
Zimbabwe will be returning to trying their hand at Test cricket for the first time in six years against Bangladesh who themselves haven’t played a Test in 14 months.
The one-off-Test match which starts on Thursday next week will be followed by five one-dayers.
Zimbabwe has garnered some practice and experience against second-string sides of Australia and South Africa, while Bangladesh has just gone through a long fitness camp following their home series against Australia in April.
The Bangladeshi squad for the Zimbabwe Test possesses just one bowler in Shakib who has taken over 50 Test wickets.
The absence of experienced campaigners like Mashrafe Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain could be a concern for the team.
Zimbabwe squad: V Sibanda, T Mawoyo, R Chakabva, S Ervine, F Mtizwa, P Utseya, K Meth, T Chatara, N Ncube, F Mtizwa, K Jarvis