All-rounder Chamu Chibhabha bounced back into the Zimbabwe cricket team after being named in the squad for the three one-day internationals (ODIs) against Pakistan starting tomorrow.
The 26-year-old top-order batsman has been missing from the squad since the tour of Bangladesh in December, but returns to the side with in-form specialist Test opener Tino Mawoyo making way.
Former Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura, who missed the Test defeat to Pakistan after undergoing an MRI scan on his knee, is also set to return to the fold while Forster Mtizwa was dropped.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC)’s chairman of selectors Alistair Campbell said another player had been put on standby should Chigumbura fail to fully recover in time for the first ODI.
“Chigumbura should return to the side for the ODIs although he is still being assessed and as a precautionary measure we have someone on standby should he still be feeling any discomfort.
“Hopefully we can comeback strongly in the limited-overs matches after the disappointment of losing the Test match, but we have to improve on our fielding which I felt let us down a lot in the Test match.
“We created the chances, but we didn’t convert them by holding on to those catches and it came back to haunt us,” said Campbell an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.
On the return of Chibhabha, Campbell said it was an opportunity for the talented all-rounder to impress, should he feature either in the three ODIs or the two Twenty20 matches.
“Chibhabha has been absent from the team for a while now, but we all know that he is a talented player with both the ball and the bat.
“He is one of the new faces in the squad as he comes in for Mawoyo and hopefully if he gets a chance to play a part in the upcoming matches he will impress,” said Campbell.
Chibhabha has struggled to cement a spot in the national side because of his failure to convert his regular starts into big scores.
He is the only Zimbabwean player to be nominated for this year’s LG ICC Awards in the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year category for his 52 runs off 32 balls against South Africa in October last year.
He recently announced his return to form with a fluent 70 for Zimbabwe XI in the warm-up match against the Pakistan prior to the recently concluded Test match.
Zimbabwe will go into the three-match ODI series eager to make amends after their disappointing seven-wicket loss in the lone Test match which concluded on Sunday.
The batting department, which had stood firm with a solid 412 in the first innings, simply melted under pressure, in the end only managing a paltry 141 runs in the second innings.
The fielding also left a lot to be desired as the butter-fingered Zimbabwe players not only dropped no less than six catches, but their ground fielding was also woeful.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain), Greg Lamb, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Ray Price, Vusi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Brian Vitori, Chamu Chibhabha, Malcolm Waller, Prosper Utseya, Regis Chakabva, Elton Chigumbura