By Kevin Mapasure
INJURIES have continued to dog the Zimbabwe national cricket team after they lost captain Sean Williams ahead of the first day of the first Test against touring Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club this morning.
Williams’ name has been added to an injury list that already includes Craig Ervine, who is struggling with a calf strain, Wesley Madhevere (hamstring) as well as Sikandar Raza and long-term absentees Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis.
Ervine and Madhevere were struck off the squad for the first Test on Monday after the medical team certified that they would not be ready by today.
Williams missed the second T20 last week, but returned for the final on Sunday, but yesterday Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) announced that the all-rounder would not make it.
Zimbabwe will pick from a list of 15 players with former skipper Brendan Taylor taking over the captaincy in the first Test.
“Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams will miss the first Test match against Pakistan after he failed to fully recover from a soft tissue injury to his left hand in time for the game that gets underway at Harare Sports Club on Thursday (today),” ZC said in statement.
“The injury, which had forced him to sit out of the second T20I last Friday, flared up during the third game on Sunday. With Williams ruled out, Brendan Taylor has been asked to stand in as Zimbabwe’s captain for the first
Zimbabwe will be hoping that Williams and Ervine can recover in time to play in the second Test.
With Williams out, it could open an opportunity for Roy Kaia.
Prince Masvaure and Kevin Kasuza look set to continue with their opening combination, while Regis Chakabva looks on course to continue with the keeping
Kasuza scored a century in the first Test against Afghanistan and will be expecting to harvest more runs on his home patch. Luke Jongwe, who took nine wickets across the three T20s, is in the line to make his Test debut.
Zimbabwe and Pakistan last played Test against each other in 2013 at Harare Sports Club where the hosts recorded a historic victory by 24 runs. They will be looking to continue in that vein as the two clash at the same venue.
They have contested in 17 Tests with Zimbabwe winning three while Pakistan dominated by claiming 10 victories.
Zimbabwe experienced bitter sweet moments against Aghanistan in their last Test outing, winning their first match by 10 wickets before losing the second.
In that series, they also missed Taylor and Ervine, who stayed home due to illness and injury.
Zimbabwe probable Xl: P Masvaure, K Kasuza, T Musakanda, B Taylor (C), R Kaia, M Shumba, R Chakabva, T Chisoro, D Tiripano, B Muzarabani, L Jongwe
Pakistan probable XI: I Butt, A Ali, A Ali, B Azam (c), F Alam, M Rizwan, F Ashraf, N Ali, H Ali, S Khan, S Afridi
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