2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

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jaybro
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2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by jaybro » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:41 am

As suggested by TapsC I've followed on from my post series reviews/ratings to a yearly review for each player, since Zimbabwe predominately played ODI cricket in 2018 the ratings will be based mainly off performances in those fixtures, although solid performances in other formats will be taken into account. Zimbabwe used 31 players in all formats this year so due to the large quantity of players and the small portion of matches played by certain players some reviews will be smaller than others with no rating applied.

Brendan Taylor - 8.5/10: BT had a massive year with the bat especially in ODIs scoring 898 runs at almost 43 (only Kohli, Sharma, Bairstow & Root scored more) and also chipped in for two tons in the 2nd Test v BD. His total runs across the two main formats was 1,144 runs at 47.60 with four hundreds and four fifties, he was lengths ahead of any other Zimbabwe batsman. Despite the 'run fest' he was on 2018 had some bad moments for BT also, he was the leader of the player strike which cost him the chance to play the 'marquee matches' at home v Pakistan & Australia, whilst he was also short of runs in South Africa & in the t20 format but I think getting out cheaply against the UAE in that failed run chase will haunt him for a long time.

Sikander Raza - 8/10: Raza really asserted himself as Zimbabwe's MVP in 2018 especially in the ODI format where despite the failed CWCQ he was named player of the tournament. His bowling has come on leaps and bounds with only Chatara & Cremer taking more wickets than him this year. With the bat he averaged close to 40 with five half centuries, four of which came in winning matches, unlike BT most of Raza's best performances with bat & ball resulted in Zimbabwean victories. He didn't perform as well in BD with the bat but his bowling in the 1st Test which again came in a winning match was IMO the best performance by a Zimbabwean off spinner in a Test. Obviously getting caught up in the player strike then ugly social media bout with the board was a low light, but all in all a great year for Raza.

Tendai Chatara - 8/10: A great year for Zimbabwe's 'Mr Dependable' as he managed a fairly hefty workload to lead the Zimbabwe pace attack, 30 ODI wickets @27 is a very good year and his 1st spell against BD in the Sylhet Test broke the game open and was the catalyst to the Zimbabwe victory. Disappointing that he broke down in the 2nd Test but hopefully he recovers well and we see him back bigger than ever in 2019, still have my questions marks about his longevity if asked to play Tests again.

Sean Williams - 7/10: A stop and start year for Sean Williams after missing out on the tour of BD due to a 'lost medical report' he then missed the Afghanistan series due to a broken hand, he returned halfway through the qualifiers and although he scored 80 v the UAE he like the others felt the weight of disappointment from the failed campaign before going on strike. At this point some had written Williams off but he returned to the side for the tours of South Africa & BD where was the leading run scorer in both ODI series which included his 2nd ODI Ton. He then was named MOTM in the 1st Test in Syhlet which Zimbabwe won although his form tailed off for the remainder of the tour. All in all his batting improved big time in 2018 averaging almost 50 in ODIs but his bowling reverted back to 'part time' standard.

Graeme Cremer - 7/10: A great year for Cremer up until the the UAE game where he played his final game for the year, 25 wickets in 15 matches at 24 a piece is sensational returns for a leg spinner in ODI cricket as he successfully juggled the roles of captain and strike bowler. I don't think I've ever seen Cremer bowl with such control and subtle variation as he did this year, hopefully his long lay off from injury doesn't restrict him from reproducing similar form in 2019. He also passed 100 ODI wickets becoming the 6th Zimbabwean to do so.

Kyle Jarvis - 6.5: Hard to judge KJ because his form in the first half of 2018 was poor as he struggled to make impact in the ODI format and found himself dropped at different stages, he returned in the 2nd half of the year with a decent tour of South Africa before really hitting his straps in BD taking career best figures in the 1st ODI. Jarvis then showed his skills in the Test Series where he took 10 wickets @15 in conditions not suited to seam bowling, with limited Tests on the horizon for Zimbabwe KJ needs to continue to develop his white ball bowling with his return of 18 wickets from 16 matches underwhelming for the a player of his calibre.

Ryan Murray - 6/10: Only the 5 games for Murray but despite that I still felt he was deserving of a rating, he played well in a side depleted by the strike and showed his more accomplished team mates how it's done. Tidy behind the stumps and solid with the bat he looks a very bright prospect for the future and it's hard to understand why he was overlooked for the 3 ODIs in South Africa despite the struggles of the others on tour. IMO he should be in every Zimbabwe side picked once he is finished his studies in South Africa.

Blessing Muzarabani - 6/10: The brightest prospect to hit the scene for Zimbabwe in what seems like a life time Blessing seemed to be the answer to Zimbabwe's prayers for a good tall young fast bowler. After Heath Streak selected him for the Pink ball Test he impressed on the tours of Bangladesh and UAE before playing a key role in the CWCQ. A disappointing series against Pakistan where he struggled on batter friendly decks left him with 18 wickets from as many matches at 40 a piece, but the biggest disappointment was him leaving for a Kolpak deal and suggesting he had no interest in ever returning.

Brandon Mavuta - 6/10: Mavuta hit the scene with a bang impressing everybody with his bowling and late order hitting on the tour of South Africa, although he didn't take a bag of wickets he took the big wicket of Faf Du Plessis twice on tour and showed the swagger of a winner so desperately needed for Zimbabwe. A tough tour of BD followed where he struggled in the 1st two ODIs before being dropped, his inconsistency was punished by the BD batsman who were better equipped to manage his leg spinners, he did play a big role in the Test win at Sylhet taking 4-16 in the 4th innings, but he was brought back down to earth in the 2nd Test going wicket-less and taking a hammering. Played in the Msanzi t20 league and spent valuable time with Rashid Khan which could be a long term winner for Zimbabwe.

Peter Moor 5.5/10: One of the tougher players to rate this year because his form in Tests was so good yet he was poor in the ODI format (played a good t20 innings in South Africa). PJ played 16 ODI matches in 2018 passing fifty just once averaging 22, fair enough he mainly played down the order coming in for the slog overs but if he is to continue in this format he really needs to produce 'Moor' runs. He did finish the year with two really good Test matches in BD scoring two fifties, although he will be disappointed he didn't reach his 1st Test Century in the 2nd Test where he made 83. He also continued to struggle in the 2nd innings of Tests scoring a 1st ball duck and 13, like Jarvis he needs to improve his ODI game with not many Tests scheduled for Zimbabwe there's no point being a Test specialist.

Tendai Chisoro - 5.5/10: A decent year for Chisoro despite getting limited opportunities he played a vital role in the tie v Scotland and victory over Ireland at the CWCQ. His ability to open the bowling and suffocate the batsman was instrumental in those results and his 21 v Ireland help Raza post a dependable total. It was hard to understand why he was overlooked for Wellington once Rajpot took over but he is still IMO the best SLA bowler in Zimbabwe.

Hamilton Masakadza - 4/10: After a massive 2017 where Hamilton was Zimbabwe's best batsman across all formats the big guy really disappointed in 2018 averaging 22 in ODIs crossing fifty just the three times in 26 innings. Looking at why Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the CWC it was the batting which let them down especially from the top order where Hamilton was the mainstay, looking at the numbers BT & Raza put up they only needed a little bit of help from someone like Hamilton. Despite his struggles he was made captain more due to the fact he was the only senior player left at the time, his captaincy lacked the spark to ignite the side which led them on a massive losing streak until their famous win in the Sylhet Test where he also batted well.

Donald Tiripano 3.5/10: Some will feel I've been harsh on Donald because he always gives 110% and although his whole hearted efforts were noticed one glance at his numbers shows despite his willingness to compete the Don just isn't up to scratch. Averaging 73 with the ball and going for more than a run a ball in ODIs just isn't good enough for Zimbabwe if they want to start winning games, he really struggled in the home series against Pakistan and although he did well in South Africa his short comings were shown again in BD where he went wicket-less through three games. He fared much better in the Test he played taking three wickets although he missed out with the bat in both innings.

Craig Ervine - 3.5/10: After BT left Zimbabwe for the county circuit Ervine stepped up to become Zimbabwe's best batsman scoring four International Tons, so when BT returned the thought of Ervine and BT forming a formidable middle order had fans dreaming of WC qualification. But 2018 turned out to be a horrible year for Ervine as he started in terrible form in BD and never really found it as things went from bad to worse he ended up dropping down the order before finding himself at No.7 in the 'infamous' UAE bungled run chase. Of all the players to feel the disappointment from that game Ervine has suffered the most as he was the guy out there at the end, he seems to still be weighed down by it and looks a shadow of the player he once was, he now finds himself out of side in all formats and it remains to be seen if he will work his way back.

Solomon Mire - 3/10: If you thought Ervine and Hamilton were disappointing in 2018 you obviously didn't take notice of Mire, after announcing himself on the international stage with that 100 in Sri Lanka big things were expected from Mire, but he couldn't come close to replicating that form and despite a number of promising starts he failed to cross 50 in 18 ODIs and averaged a disappointing 14. He was eventually dropped for the ODIs in Bangladesh after a pathetic tour of South Africa and will need to make some adjustments to his game if he wants to return to the side. His rating would have been much lower if not for his two impressive scores in the t20 tri series against Australia and Pakistan where he set a new Zimbabwe record for the highest t20 score.

Cephas Zhuwao - 3/10: Brought into the ODI side for the CWCQ after some eye catching performances domestically and against Kenya the big hitting Zhuwao was given a license to get Zimbabwe off to a fast start, although he accomplished the fast starts he couldn't go on to pass 50 in 8 attempts and was 'controversially' dropped for the UAE game. I can't see him being successful with his technique but you can't deny the excitement he brings when he's at the crease.

Brian Chari - 3/10: Limited chances for Chari in the ODI format playing just the two games where failed both times on batsman friendly decks, he did play the two Tests in BD where he failed again miserably in the 1st Test playing some poor shots. He did bounce back well in the 2nd Test scoring a half century and a 43, but again his mode of dismissal was poor in both innings. Like Jarvis and Moor he is probably suited to Tests more so than ODIs, but with little opportunities in this format he needs to develop his 50 over skills.

Tarisai Musakanda - 2.5/10: Sadly for Tari who is a fan favourite 2018 was a year to forget after being in and out of the side throughout the year he failed to replicate good form for the ZRS and Africa t20 for the national side. Obviously he is immensely talented but he still seems to get carried away early and plays too many big shots and hits the ball in the air too much for my liking. Hopefully 2019 is the year we see him come of age.

Wellington Masakadza 2.5/10: Wellington made a return to the national side in 2018 but for the most part he was ineffective in both ODIs and the one Test he played. Taking 6 wickets @ nearly 60 going for more than a run a ball shows his struggles and although all but one of his matches were played on very good batting tracks if he wants to be the No.1 spinner in Zimbabwe he needs to do better. He did ok in his Test debut showing grit and determination with the bat and picking up a couple of wickets, although his bowling didn't look threatening at all. Needs to learn some new tricks if he wants to be an International player.

Regis Chakabva - 2/10: Only the two Tests for Regis in 2018 and despite what looked to be an improved technique against the spinners he failed to produce with the bat in both Tests. He seems to only play with one gear in Tests even when batting with the tail, he needs to show better match awareness and be more positive once the 6th wicket falls. His glove-work was much the same as in 2017 as he mixed great catches with costly missed chances. Regis is firmly seen as a Test specialist and with the emergence of Ryan Murray it would seem his days as an International cricketer are numbered.

Elton Chigumbura - 2/10: After looking as though he was finished as an International cricketer he won a reprieve for the home series v Pakistan and despite doing nothing with the bat and not bat bowling he was again selected for the South Africa and Bangladesh tours where he again failed to produce anything of substance. Fans and critics alike are growing tired of his continued selection in the side whilst young players sit on the sidelines, he must have some friends in high places.

Malcolm Waller - 1/10: After a somewhat successful 2017 where he became a good lower order hitter and part time bowler Waller was extremely disappointing in 2018, an average tour of Bangladesh was followed up by a miserable tour of UAE where his tormentor Rashid Khan bamboozled him yet again. Averaging 10 from 9 innings is just not acceptable especially for a guy who was averaging 20, it would seem this is the end of the road for Malcolm although we have said that before.

Ryan Burl - 1/10: Didn't get many chances in 2018 but in the six innings he played he failed every time and looked out of his depth. It's a far cry from the young up and coming talent we all expected when he debuted in 2017 but sadly he hasn't been able to deliver for Zimbabwe. His numbers look bad overall but he hasn't been helped by coming up against Rashid Khan eight times out of the eleven innings he has played in ODIs, also coming in down the order doesn't seem to suit him. Hopefully we see Burl move up the order and become the player we all know he can be in 2019.



Tinashe Kamunhukamwe - N/A: The 'Hulk' is yet another product of the ZRS Academy and key member of the side that won the Pro50 tournament after amassing 379 runs at a strike rate of 141 he was rushed into the ODI side during the home series v Pakistan. Although he only got the two matches to show his worth his 34 in the 5th ODI showed he has the shots and the swagger to take on the bowlers in the early exchanges and could be a player of the future.

Prince Masvaure - N/A: Like Kamunhukamwe there were limited chances for Prince to show his worth for Zimbabwe in 2018 although without the player strike he probably wouldn't have even been considered. He looked stylish and comfortable in the 5th ODI v Pakistan especially against the spinners, so it was a surprise he was overlooked for the tour of Bangladesh in favour of Brian Chari, at his age you would think he needs a ton of runs domestically to get back into consideration.

Liam Roche - N/A: Roche who was fresh off captaining the Under 19's side to the world cup was drafted into the ODI side for the series v Pakistan again due to the strike action, although he was probably picked ahead of his time it was good to see a young star of the future make the step up. Missed out twice with the bat but bowled pretty well considering the class of the opposition, definitely a player for the future if he returns to Zimbabwe after leaving for New Zealand

Chamu Chibhabha - N/A: Disappointing year for Chamu after being over looked for the early part of the year he only won a recall again due to the strike, he failed to take advantage of his chance and the friendly batting conditions on offer at QSC as he scored 43 runs in 3 innings. Further failure in the t20's and losing his spot in the Test side capped off a forgettable year for Chamu.

Brian Vitori - N/A: After a lengthy spell on the sidelines trying to re-model his 'dodgy action' Vitori made a timely return to the national side for the UAE Tour and the CWCQ. But after struggling to find his best he was again reported after the 2nd game of the qualifiers and banned from bowling, it looks a long road back for Vitori especially with his mentor Streak no longer around it's unlikely we will see him back.

Richard Ngarava - N/A: A tough year with little opportunity for Ngarava in 2018 he struggled badly in the 3 ODIs he played going wicket-less and going at over 8 an over. I'm not sure if it's a lack of confidence or if he really isn't that crash hot but he looked well out of his depth in the games he played lacking consistency in line and length. Possibly picked before his time he needs a lot of work if he wants to be an international bowler.

Chris Mpofu - N/A: After a strong 2017 the 'Magwegwe Express' was unfairly overlooked for the most of 2018 as a move to blood younger bowlers in his place limited his chances. He bowled ok in his only ODI performance before he returned for the t20 leg of the South Africa tour where he was Zimbabwe's best bowler. A late call up to the Test side for the Bangladesh tour was just reward.

John Nyumbu - N/A: Only played the 2 t20s and was far from impressive getting tonked around with ease, was lucky to get chosen to tour Bangladesh due to being the only real off spin option, can't see him playing for Zimbabwe again barring another player strike.
1.G.Flower 2.B.Taylor 3.M.Goodwin 4.A.Flower 5.D.Houghton 6.N.Johnson 7.T.Taibu 8.P.Strang 9.H.Streak 10.R.Price 11.H.Olonga 12.A.Campbell

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CrimsonAvenger
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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by CrimsonAvenger » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:02 am

Taylor and Chatara finishing the year in world top 5 in ODIs in terms of runs scored and wickets taken being the highlights, as well as the sweet test victory.

Agree with most assessments and ratings. Mavuta getting a 6 ahead of Moor's 5.5 is a bit strange though :). I would have given Mavuta a 5/10 - saying the jury is still out. He has been 50-50. Regarding Regis, I think he will not fade away even if Murray comes along as the designated skipper. Regis has a role to replace Hamilton at the top of the order as test specialist (at 3) in my view after the big man moves on. Regis might not play well with the tail, but he has the technique and patience as a batsman needed at the test level.

TapsC
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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by TapsC » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:41 am

Thank you Jaybro. Fair ratings for me. Also clearly shows that we have serious top order issues with Hami and Mire really disappointing this year.

The young batsmen in Burl and Tari also didnt do much. Hopefully they have a better year in 2019.

BT is obviously head and shoulders above the rest. To think he even had a slow start when he came back but he is the only batsman I see playing his natural game against any opponent. He would have finished a lot higher if he had played those 5 ODIs against Pakistan.

To me I think Chatara is slowly working his way into becoming a Zim legend. I remember putting him in my all time Zim ODI 11 as I firmly believe by the time he is done he will only have Streak and Cremer ahead of him on the all time Zim ODI wicket takers list.

Sean Williams is another guy who had a decent year. I feel like he finally looked like he was taking a leading role in some games. Thats good to see. I also put him in my all time Zim ODI team.

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jaybro
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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by jaybro » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:18 am

Yeah it was tough CA I found myself going back and changing the ratings a lot and with there being so many players involved and with varying depths of involvement and opportunities it was difficult.

PJ was great in the test series, but really he did nothing in the ODIs. I mentioned he had little opportunity to bat up the order, but as a batsman batting 6 or 7 in ODIs you need to take your chances and he didn’t. Without those two tests he probably gets a 2 or 3 like Ervine and Mire.

Mavuta was really good in South Africa and he did bowl Zimbabwe to victory in the 4th innings at Slyhet, so his ‘ups’ were really high. Struggled in the ODIs and was shown up at Mirpur. I felt a 6 was fair for him.

I have mentioned before Regis is probably better off concentrating on being a top order batsman and giving up the gloves so yes I agree with that.
1.G.Flower 2.B.Taylor 3.M.Goodwin 4.A.Flower 5.D.Houghton 6.N.Johnson 7.T.Taibu 8.P.Strang 9.H.Streak 10.R.Price 11.H.Olonga 12.A.Campbell

Kriterion_BD
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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by Kriterion_BD » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:01 am

Overall 2018 was a year like every other for Zimbabwe: some big successes spread out amongst losses, player strikes, and defections.

What catches the eye is that ZIM's overall win loss record for the year quite a bit under par, yet all the main players (BT, Raza, Cremer, Williams, Chatara, KJ) with the exception of Hammy and Ervine all had good ratings. That means either enough of the main players aren't firing at the same time in a coordinated fashion or the main players doing well is still not good enough to consistently win games. The former is obviously true.
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jaybro
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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by jaybro » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:39 am

I think all your reasons are right Kriterion, the top players all fired at different times but sadly they couldn’t all get it together during the qualifiers. Jarvis & Williams who had good ratings did their best work in the 2nd half of the year as well so during the CWCQ it was only BT, Raza & Cremer that really had good tournaments. Williams, Ervine & Hamilton had one good innings, whilst Chatara got injured and missed a few games.

The Pakistan clean sweep hurt the win rate whilst they were always unlikely to win away matches in South Africa & Bangladesh.
1.G.Flower 2.B.Taylor 3.M.Goodwin 4.A.Flower 5.D.Houghton 6.N.Johnson 7.T.Taibu 8.P.Strang 9.H.Streak 10.R.Price 11.H.Olonga 12.A.Campbell

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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by foreignfield » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:46 pm

An excellent read, jaybro, and pretty fair ratings. Personally, I'm tempted to deduct half a point collectively in light of the bitter disappointement of the CWCQ. It still hurts.

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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by Jemisi » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:43 am

Thanks Jaybro, nice to have an essay to read that is cricket based and not just the same old thing. ZCF can use it.

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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by CrimsonAvenger » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:52 am

Agree. This should easily be one of the most comprehensive year-end team reviews in cricketing fraternity in general in recent times. All those "pundit ex-cricketers" can see how good such a review can be if it comes from someone who has followed the fortunes of the team and its players right through the year, instead of depending on just the stats.

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Re: 2018 Zimbabwe Player Reviews

Post by Nanctus » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:16 am

Fair review of a very polarising year.

It looks like the best-ranked bowling attack Zimbabwe have had for a while. Cant wait to have Jarvis-Chatara-Cremer operating next year. I think the benefits of bowling in partnerships with each other would improve their returns as a group and hopefully bring some better results overall.

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