Franchise cricket side MidWest Rhinos are optimistic they will do well in the absence of opening batsmen Brendan Taylor and Vusi Sibanda, who are currently playing in New Zealand and Australia respectively.
Taylor, who is currently playing in the New Zealand HRV Cup Twenty20 competition for Wellington Firebirds will only be back at Rhinos after Zimbabwe’s tour of New Zealand late next month and would miss the Castle Logan Cup matches against Southern Rocks, Mashonaland Eagles and Mountaineers.
Sibanda would not be available for the remainder of the term as he is turning out for Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club in the Sydney Grade Cricket in Australia.
The duo was often regarded as solid and formed a formidable partnership in Rhino’s batting line-up.
Rhinos assistant coach Clement Mahachi yesterday said it was not unusual for them to play without Taylor and Sibanda, who used to be absent from the Kwekwe-based franchise while on national duty.
“I do not think the absence of Vusi and Taylor would affect us that much because we were used to playing without them when they were with the national team. If you look at the beginning of last season there was a time when we played quite a number of games without them and we were playing well. Of course they are great players but we can do well in their absence,” said Mahachi.
“We have a lot of great youngsters coming up and trying to prove themselves, so we need not to worry ourselves. Here, it is just a matter of their replacements doing well and showing hunger to win things.”
Young Gary Balance is expected to shoulder all the responsibility of filling Taylor’s shoes.
“I think for now it is too early to start talking of winning any piece of silverware. We will take each game as it comes and try to win things,” Mahachi said.
Rhinos resume their season with a Logan Cup home fixture against Rocks at Kwekwe Sports Club on January 9.