Masakadza ruled out of second Kiwis Test
TOP order batsman Hamilton Masakadza has been ruled out of the second Test against New Zealand that begins at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo this morning.
Masakadza, who Zimbabwe’s most experienced batsman with 30 Test matches under his belt, suffered a lower back injury in the first Test that the home team heavily lost by an innings and 117 runs at the same venue.
Masakadza has scored three centuries, including a career-best 158 against Bangladesh, but has, however, been a huge disappointment with the bat, scoring a paltry 15 and four runs in the first Test.
Tino Mawoyo has recovered from a thumb injury and is expected to take his place at the top of the order. Spinner John Nyumbu has also been added to the 15-man squad to beef up a bowling attack that relied on part time bowlers in the first Test. Nyumbu will join his captain Graeme Cremer as a specialist spinner.
The only realistic chance of Zimbabwe levelling the series will be for them to bowl out New Zealand in both innings since batting has proved to be a big challenge. is This could also see pacemen Chris Mpofu and Njabulo Nyoni being brought into the fray to add zest to the bowling attack.
Mawoyo said the team had time to reflect truthfully on the capitulation of the top order in the first Test.
“We’ve spoken about the top order probably not doing as good
as they should have, for example the two c ol l ap s e s . The bowlers not hitting the right areas and so if we can address those issues and the top order can set a competitive score, for me that’ll be a plus,” said Mawoyo. He said if picked, he was ready to help Zimbabwe give the Black Caps a competitive match. “I’ll be looking to play a part in rectifying the collapse that happened in the last Test. I haven’t played at this level in a while, but I can bat to my ability. It was unfortunate that my thumb was injured during the South Africa A series and I had a couple of good knocks. With that I hope I can make a contribution to the Zimbabwean Test score,” said Mawoyo. New Zealand top order batsman Bradley-John Watling said the Black Caps had rested and were raring to go. “We’re sticking with the same 11 that played last time. The boys have rested after having visited Heath Streak’s farm and watched a beautiful sunset. We’re back at training and are ready to play against Zimbabwe,” said Watling. He said they expect a more difficult game, as Zimbabwe would have learnt from their mistakes. “Zimbabwe will be a difficult opponent this time because they have learnt one or two things. The match will be tougher because the surface will be slower, making it hard to score runs,” said Watling — @ bonganinkunzi.