South Africa will be well prepared as a number of their players have been involved in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and more importantly have been performing consistently. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on the other hand find themselves in a similar situation as only two players from Bangladesh were part of the IPL while none from Zimbabwe were fortunate enough to be considered. Be that as it may, Zimbabwe will be desperate to not only be competitive but to also win a few matches which would put them in the perfect state of mind for the all important 20 20 world cup which will be held in Sri Lanka in September.
Zimbabwe have announced a provisional squad of 24 and it is pleasing to note that a few old faces have made a welcome return as well as the inclusion of some highly talented youngsters. Looking at the batting it was very encouraging to see the aggression shown by both Hamilton Masakadza and Stuart Matsikinyere at the top of the order against New Zealand in February, and while some may argue that the pitches in New Zealand were taylor made for T20 cricket, the counter
argument would be that bad bowling still has to be dealt with, regardless of the nature of the pitch which Masakadza and Matsikinyere did with great distinction.
The middle order has also been given some flexibility with the return of Charles Coventry and the left handed Craig Ervine will also provide a certain amount of solidity.
The bowling attack has also been strengthened by the more than welcome return of Chris Mpofu, who's combination of bouncers, slower balls and yorkers will add much needed variety to the bowling attack. Richard Muzhange is one of the new faces that has been drafted in to the squad, a move which has pleased many followers of the countries domestic Cricket and in particular the Mid west rhinos. This promising and hard working young medium pacer has come along in
leaps and bounds and his ability to bowl full and straight in the death overs will hopefully take some of the pressure off the likes of Elton Chigumbura who has been found wanting with the ball of late but the likes of young Muzhange may very well be the solution Zimbabwe have been looking for.
In short, this squad is unquestionably the best squad the country has to offer in terms of balance and experience, and there is no reason why Brendan Taylor and his charges can't provide both the Proteas and the Tigers with a few headaches when the three teams square up in the triangular series starting on June 18.