Who should make the upcoming touring squad?

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Who should make the upcoming touring squad?

Post by brmtaylor.com admin » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:46 pm

Picking a squad has become quite a task now, as the unavailability of Taylor and the retirement of Brent leaves some pretty big gaps.

Stats from the Metro Bank Twenty20: Batting (most runs), Batting (strike rate), Bowling (most wickets)

Here's the squad I would pick.

Squad: Prosper Utseya (c), Hamilton Masakadza (vc), Regis Chakabva, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Keith Dabengwa, Timycen Maruma, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tawanda Mupariwa, Christopher Mpofu, Steven Nyamuzinga, Ray Price, Vusi Sibanda, Bradley Staddon, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Sean Williams

The only question mark I have is over Cremer... his stats say he is a fantastic one-day player, but he has always been regarded as a Test specialist (and where there's smoke...). There is no reason he couldn't be taken for depth in the squad though, but Utseya, Price and Maruma would all be ahead of him for ODI's and Twenty20's (inversely, I would pick Cremer before any of those three in a Test).

I've left Ed Rainsford out because knowing the selectors, frankly, Graeme Hick has a better chance of selection. Would love to be proven wrong though, because Rainsford would be perfect alongside Chigumbura as far as a bit of pace is concerned.

Staddon would be a really unlikely selection, but then again Marumisa was selected for the World Twenty20 from out of nowhere, so it is not inconceivable that Staddon could be selected to provide a bit of stability in the middle order (which is how I would use him, in a Michael Hussey type role).

From that squad, my first eleven for the Twenty20's would be:

1. V Sibanda..............ICC World Twenty20, enough said
2. H Masakadza..........star player, excelled in the Metro Bank T20
3. T Taibu................probably not international quality for T20, out of his depth in World T20 and IPL, but could probably bully Canada
4. S Williams.............only a single T20 to his name, 38 from 39 against Bangladesh. That's fine, an automatic selection anyway
5. B Staddon.............a dark horse. Was Metro Bank T20's third highest run scorer, opposition would know nothing about him.
6. E Chigumbura........he was made for Twenty20
7. S Matsikenyeri........can really turn it on when he wants to, so stick him at number six to give him free reign with a few overs to go
8. S Nyamuzinga........has a lot of not outs in T20's, so he needs more opportunities. This is ideal for him.
9. P Utseya..............economy rate++
10. R Price..............experience++
11. T Mupariwa.........fills the hole Gary Brent left to an extent, should be our second leading wicket taker behind Chigumbura
12. K Dabengwa....could be a replacement for Matsikenyeri or Nyamuzinga due to his big hitting

And for the ODI's, a little less focus on the big hitting:

1. V Sibanda.............would use Sibanda as an opener first, but if unsuccessful move Taibu into the position
2. H Masakadza.........all class
3. S Williams............all class
4. T Taibu...............potentially an opener depending on how Sibanda does
5. C Chibhabha.........I rate Chibhabha as an ODI player, his average is gradually going up to around 25. Is best at #3, but Williams and Taibu have both shown that they are best in the top order
6. R Chakabva..........potential superstar material as he demonstrated in South Africa. Better that he debuts against Ire/Ken than say, Sri Lanka, so he gets debutant nerves out of the way.
7. E Chigumbura.......automatic selection
8. P Utseya.............automatic selection but needs to take more wickets
9. R Price..............star
10. T Mupariwa.......the same as the T20 reason, fills the hole left by Brent
11. C Mpofu...........we need the depth in the bowling, I would prefer to have Mpofu at number 11 and leave Matsikenyeri out than leave Matsikenyeri in and have Chibhabha bowl (not Chibhabha's fault, poor captaincy... Chibhabha bowling the odd over (ala Steve Waugh late in his career) could work, but leaving in the attack even after he gets smashed around is just scoreline suicide really)
12. S Matsikenyeri..........I would prefer to see Chakabva promoted during the series than have Matsikenyeri retain his spot, simply because Matsikenyeri has historically been very hot and cold... quite good when he's on song, but duck duck duck when he's not. Averaging 20.60 after 70 odd games is not good enough.

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