Zimbabwe in New Zealand 2011-12 January 3, 2012

Mpofu ruled out of New Zealand tour

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Chris Mpofu, the pace bowler, has been ruled out of Zimbabwe's tour of New Zealand with a lower back injury.

He pulled out of the Stanbic Bank T20 series in November and has failed to recover in time for the trip which begins on January 17. Mpofu was initially named in Zimbabwe's 20-man training squad for a two-week camp in Harare ahead of the tour.

"Unfortunately Chris's lower back pain has recurred on the eve of the start of the camp," said national team physiotherapist Amato Machikicho. "He had an MRI scan and an opinion from a specialist sports physician. As a result Chris will no longer be a part of the camp and will miss the tour."

The national selectors have called up right-arm bowler Tendai Chatara of Mountaineers to replace Mpofu in the squad. Four other players also return including left-arm bowler Brian Vitori who missed the home series against New Zealand with a shin injury. Fellow bowler Shingi Masakadza is included having not played since the World Cup, legspinner Graeme Cremer has had a long absence with a serious knee injury but is now fit again and Stuart Matsikenyeri also makes a comeback.

Batsman Vusi Sibanda has also been named after a stint playing grade cricket in Australia. Captain Brendan Taylor will not be at the training camp because he is currently playing for Wellington in the HRV T20.

Head coach Alan Butcher is hoping his side can build on their performances against New Zealand in their recent home series. They lost the only Test match after losing the three-match ODI series 2-1. "I hope our performance in the last Test will give us the belief that we can beat New Zealand," said Butcher. "We will be underdogs, yes, but we will not be inferior to our opponents.

"Not having Chris Mpofu is quite a blow - he has been consistent in the last couple of months," he added. "We have [Brian] Vitori back and look to compete at a level footing so are not a depleted side at all."

Squad Brendan Taylor, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Keegan Meth, Forster Mutizwa, Njabulo Ncube, Raymond Price, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller.

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  • zimbos_05 on January 6, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Not a bad squad. Why was Ervine dropped? makes no sense to me, the man is experienced and more consistent than Chibabha and the like. Really want to see Ballance, Raza and Querl being given more of a chance, perhaps tagging along as drinks boys, because our team is becoming to predictable now.

  • on January 5, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    the squad is good enough. I agree with most that querl and kasuza would benefit more from staying behind and keep playing domestically than going over just to carry drinks. I think we also need to stop putting chakabva in the team just for wicketkeeping if taibu is hurt. he needs to be performing really well becoz i think if we had mutizwa in the last match he would have put up more runs (by the way taylor, mutizwa and coventry all can keep wicket pretty good). the only guys i really miss here are williams and ervine because without injury they are better than matsikenyeri chibhabha, coventry and chakabva...check the stats. i hope coventry goes later on just for t20's espeially since they are ranked now

  • mahjut on January 5, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    Hi Alex, Taylor has been doing pretty well, and Vusi is in Aus playing some grade cricket and also not embarrassing himself. It will be interesting to see how Tino and Waller do in NZ (I'm sure Masakadza and Taibu have enough experience to draw something from). The NZ attack look good and will be on a high after their morale-boosting outing down under so Zim will have to be really up for it...but we've been working hard too. Jarvis has shown he can take wickets, Vitori will like the wickets in NZ more than that one in Bulawayo and Meth is bowling really well domestically (he might try too hard when trying to perform at international level, but here's wishing him good luck) ... of course they may want to bring in some real pace [no disrespect to the obvious talented opening pair of Jarvis and Vitori but i mean *real*, sustained pace] in the form of Shingi or Chatara, rather than the wiles of Meth or the experience of Elton. Either way, the attack should be a reasonable one. good days!!

  • mahjut on January 5, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    @zimlover. As much as Forster Mutizwa deserves it (and he really does), the loss of Mpofu means Elton simply becomes vital; otherwise I would have had him replaced by FM [Elton would have been the only replacable spot had Mpofu not been injured - he hasn't done much to show he's worth his spot lately]. In any case the chances are that Meth will get his Test debut, Elton will take the 7 spot which should, in any other situation, be given to Forster. No-one else (except *possibly* Hammie) has earned a sudden demotion to benchside. The bats will be as in the last Test VS, TM, HM, TT, BRMT. MW and then from 7) E Chigumbura, 8) K Meth, 9) R Price, 10) B Vitori to 11) K Jarvis. Can you see anything else??

  • Nduru on January 5, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    @Alex Hose, thanks for your positive comments regarding our team! I agree with the comment from @Mahjut that Mutizwa needs a fair chance and that Querl should not be fast tracked in too soon. Mutizwa I thought should have played against NZ in the test, not Chakabva. I think his good average must be taken into account. I also think unfortunately Querls dubious action will come under scrutiny at international level, so Heath needs to do some work on him before they think of using him in the national team. I also think that Shingi has great potential, so its good he gets a chance. Very dissapointing for Bobby, and for us, as he is now a mature and useful bowler, but perhaps Shingi can fill his shoes. Chatara also has potential, but he could be even better if he works a bit on his action. Hope that Brian Vitori can fire as with his swing, he could be very dangerous.

  • on January 5, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Querl is definately one for the future, chucking him in now would be a big mistake, maybe if he tags along as the drinks boy - just to get a feel of things! Can't say the presence of Irvine and Ballance would not be positive, pitty the English carrots'a'dangling have clouded their present judgement- they could make names for themselves of the elk of Flower an look where he ended up! Absolute beauty that taylors' in NZ sizing up the conditions and the competition, as captain he will be able to lead better, love to see Vusi and mawoyo at their best , no to say a firing masakadza and busy Taibu wouldn't make for a tough side- hopefully Waller wasn't a oneday stand, pun intended! The last stand of course- VITORI VS VETTORI- will left arm seam prevail over crafty othordox bowling?! Who has television rights to the tour? Wouldn't want to miss anything!

  • on January 5, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    christopher's injury is a BIG BLOW for Zim. but i guess with Brian back in business, Njeba and Chatara and Jarvis as our front line bowlers.we could trouble the Kiwis only if the bowlers bowl on the right channels.the batting line-up looks pretty healthy.elton should improve on his bat if he still needs recognized as an all rounder and also to keep his place in the team.with guys like Kasuza knocking on the doors.people like elton should wake upand score runs.good luck Majimboz..fire fi blaze!!

  • Hrit24 on January 5, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    @AnotherFlowerFan, you are right. Kasuza also deserves a chance.

  • zimbhopeach on January 5, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    thats the zim team of these days, folks. and it doesnt look bad at all. but it is true that the chibhabhas and mutizwa need to come to party in the middle order and give us the game like the one we the last time the black caps visited. i know we can upset them in their backyard. go taylor!! and vitori too...

  • on January 5, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    i think Zim are a team for the future, they have talent that's for sure. Ive been curious to see how they'll go in NZ conditions and judging by Brendan Taylors contributions in the NZ domestic comp it should make good viewing, lets just hope that the rest of the Zim lineup can follow his example. I think if Zim can bring through 1-2 more world class performers (like Taylor, Price and maybe Taibu) they'd be a dam tough proposition. Even in the 90's that seemed like there problem, relying on the Flowers, Streaks and Campbells when they had them. Im hoping for a good contest anyway and crossing my fingers for a resurgent NZ victory (our pace attack hasn't looked this good since Bond, Tuffey, Martin & Cairns). GO BLACKCAPS!!!

  • zimbos_05 on January 6, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Not a bad squad. Why was Ervine dropped? makes no sense to me, the man is experienced and more consistent than Chibabha and the like. Really want to see Ballance, Raza and Querl being given more of a chance, perhaps tagging along as drinks boys, because our team is becoming to predictable now.

  • on January 5, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    the squad is good enough. I agree with most that querl and kasuza would benefit more from staying behind and keep playing domestically than going over just to carry drinks. I think we also need to stop putting chakabva in the team just for wicketkeeping if taibu is hurt. he needs to be performing really well becoz i think if we had mutizwa in the last match he would have put up more runs (by the way taylor, mutizwa and coventry all can keep wicket pretty good). the only guys i really miss here are williams and ervine because without injury they are better than matsikenyeri chibhabha, coventry and chakabva...check the stats. i hope coventry goes later on just for t20's espeially since they are ranked now

  • mahjut on January 5, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    Hi Alex, Taylor has been doing pretty well, and Vusi is in Aus playing some grade cricket and also not embarrassing himself. It will be interesting to see how Tino and Waller do in NZ (I'm sure Masakadza and Taibu have enough experience to draw something from). The NZ attack look good and will be on a high after their morale-boosting outing down under so Zim will have to be really up for it...but we've been working hard too. Jarvis has shown he can take wickets, Vitori will like the wickets in NZ more than that one in Bulawayo and Meth is bowling really well domestically (he might try too hard when trying to perform at international level, but here's wishing him good luck) ... of course they may want to bring in some real pace [no disrespect to the obvious talented opening pair of Jarvis and Vitori but i mean *real*, sustained pace] in the form of Shingi or Chatara, rather than the wiles of Meth or the experience of Elton. Either way, the attack should be a reasonable one. good days!!

  • mahjut on January 5, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    @zimlover. As much as Forster Mutizwa deserves it (and he really does), the loss of Mpofu means Elton simply becomes vital; otherwise I would have had him replaced by FM [Elton would have been the only replacable spot had Mpofu not been injured - he hasn't done much to show he's worth his spot lately]. In any case the chances are that Meth will get his Test debut, Elton will take the 7 spot which should, in any other situation, be given to Forster. No-one else (except *possibly* Hammie) has earned a sudden demotion to benchside. The bats will be as in the last Test VS, TM, HM, TT, BRMT. MW and then from 7) E Chigumbura, 8) K Meth, 9) R Price, 10) B Vitori to 11) K Jarvis. Can you see anything else??

  • Nduru on January 5, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    @Alex Hose, thanks for your positive comments regarding our team! I agree with the comment from @Mahjut that Mutizwa needs a fair chance and that Querl should not be fast tracked in too soon. Mutizwa I thought should have played against NZ in the test, not Chakabva. I think his good average must be taken into account. I also think unfortunately Querls dubious action will come under scrutiny at international level, so Heath needs to do some work on him before they think of using him in the national team. I also think that Shingi has great potential, so its good he gets a chance. Very dissapointing for Bobby, and for us, as he is now a mature and useful bowler, but perhaps Shingi can fill his shoes. Chatara also has potential, but he could be even better if he works a bit on his action. Hope that Brian Vitori can fire as with his swing, he could be very dangerous.

  • on January 5, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Querl is definately one for the future, chucking him in now would be a big mistake, maybe if he tags along as the drinks boy - just to get a feel of things! Can't say the presence of Irvine and Ballance would not be positive, pitty the English carrots'a'dangling have clouded their present judgement- they could make names for themselves of the elk of Flower an look where he ended up! Absolute beauty that taylors' in NZ sizing up the conditions and the competition, as captain he will be able to lead better, love to see Vusi and mawoyo at their best , no to say a firing masakadza and busy Taibu wouldn't make for a tough side- hopefully Waller wasn't a oneday stand, pun intended! The last stand of course- VITORI VS VETTORI- will left arm seam prevail over crafty othordox bowling?! Who has television rights to the tour? Wouldn't want to miss anything!

  • on January 5, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    christopher's injury is a BIG BLOW for Zim. but i guess with Brian back in business, Njeba and Chatara and Jarvis as our front line bowlers.we could trouble the Kiwis only if the bowlers bowl on the right channels.the batting line-up looks pretty healthy.elton should improve on his bat if he still needs recognized as an all rounder and also to keep his place in the team.with guys like Kasuza knocking on the doors.people like elton should wake upand score runs.good luck Majimboz..fire fi blaze!!

  • Hrit24 on January 5, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    @AnotherFlowerFan, you are right. Kasuza also deserves a chance.

  • zimbhopeach on January 5, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    thats the zim team of these days, folks. and it doesnt look bad at all. but it is true that the chibhabhas and mutizwa need to come to party in the middle order and give us the game like the one we the last time the black caps visited. i know we can upset them in their backyard. go taylor!! and vitori too...

  • on January 5, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    i think Zim are a team for the future, they have talent that's for sure. Ive been curious to see how they'll go in NZ conditions and judging by Brendan Taylors contributions in the NZ domestic comp it should make good viewing, lets just hope that the rest of the Zim lineup can follow his example. I think if Zim can bring through 1-2 more world class performers (like Taylor, Price and maybe Taibu) they'd be a dam tough proposition. Even in the 90's that seemed like there problem, relying on the Flowers, Streaks and Campbells when they had them. Im hoping for a good contest anyway and crossing my fingers for a resurgent NZ victory (our pace attack hasn't looked this good since Bond, Tuffey, Martin & Cairns). GO BLACKCAPS!!!

  • zimlover on January 4, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @mahjut mutizwa might deserve a spot fine so if he gets selected who will miss out?zim needs a batsman who can be consistent in the middle order chigumbura has to step up as the allrounder cause i think they should feild at least 8 batsman

  • mahjut on January 4, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    @zimlover. Not sure when Mutizwa has really been given the shot he deserves - hope he gets the chance now, and doesn't fail. Given his consistency domestically he hasn't been called on often enough in my opinion, so he hasn't had the opportunity to deliver...but, a 99 ave this season and overall in the mid-40s is surely performance enough for a call-up. On the other hand, Chamu and Chaks don't quite seem up to it, but hope they prove me wrong! Hrit24, far too hasty for Querl ... can't even imagine what signals that would send the likes of Shingi and Chatara who have pefromrmed well over a few seasons.No Querl for me yet thanks! Same for kasuza - too soon! Coventry would be good for T20 but probably financial issues - not worth taking a T20 specialist in my opinion. Very, very sorry to see Mpofu side-lined though!!! Still, all things considered its a good squad despite that rather massive blow!!!

  • on January 4, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    I was hoping that Glen Querl will earn a call up, he also had a fantastic First Class season,

  • AnotherFlowerFan on January 4, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    How about throwing the young man Kasuza in the deep end? I for one think he will make it!

  • Hrit24 on January 4, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    Tendai Chatara's call-up is also a positive sign. I wanted Chatara's call-up as his performances in the domestic level merited a call-up. But I am disappointed that Querl has not got the cut because his performances were also too good to ignore. 18 wickets in a cricketer's first two first-class games is not a mean feat.

  • Hrit24 on January 4, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    It's a real pity to see Mpofu miss out on the squad due to injury. He was really consistent in the last few months. However, the comeback of Vitori and Cremer is a big plus and good luck to Zimbabwe. Hope they win.

  • Hunsy on January 4, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Surprised (but not shocked given butchers weird selections) that Chas Coventry isn't in squad for T20's at least.

  • zimlover on January 4, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    The team looks good but i think its time for chabhabha,chakabva,forster mutizwa to show that they really deserve to be in the team cause they are the missing link in zimbabwe"s middle order,these guys have enjoyed selection without any backing of real perfomance.What zim really needs right now is consistent team playing allrounders

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  • zimlover on January 4, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    The team looks good but i think its time for chabhabha,chakabva,forster mutizwa to show that they really deserve to be in the team cause they are the missing link in zimbabwe"s middle order,these guys have enjoyed selection without any backing of real perfomance.What zim really needs right now is consistent team playing allrounders

  • Hunsy on January 4, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Surprised (but not shocked given butchers weird selections) that Chas Coventry isn't in squad for T20's at least.

  • Hrit24 on January 4, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    It's a real pity to see Mpofu miss out on the squad due to injury. He was really consistent in the last few months. However, the comeback of Vitori and Cremer is a big plus and good luck to Zimbabwe. Hope they win.

  • Hrit24 on January 4, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    Tendai Chatara's call-up is also a positive sign. I wanted Chatara's call-up as his performances in the domestic level merited a call-up. But I am disappointed that Querl has not got the cut because his performances were also too good to ignore. 18 wickets in a cricketer's first two first-class games is not a mean feat.

  • AnotherFlowerFan on January 4, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    How about throwing the young man Kasuza in the deep end? I for one think he will make it!

  • on January 4, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    I was hoping that Glen Querl will earn a call up, he also had a fantastic First Class season,

  • mahjut on January 4, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    @zimlover. Not sure when Mutizwa has really been given the shot he deserves - hope he gets the chance now, and doesn't fail. Given his consistency domestically he hasn't been called on often enough in my opinion, so he hasn't had the opportunity to deliver...but, a 99 ave this season and overall in the mid-40s is surely performance enough for a call-up. On the other hand, Chamu and Chaks don't quite seem up to it, but hope they prove me wrong! Hrit24, far too hasty for Querl ... can't even imagine what signals that would send the likes of Shingi and Chatara who have pefromrmed well over a few seasons.No Querl for me yet thanks! Same for kasuza - too soon! Coventry would be good for T20 but probably financial issues - not worth taking a T20 specialist in my opinion. Very, very sorry to see Mpofu side-lined though!!! Still, all things considered its a good squad despite that rather massive blow!!!

  • zimlover on January 4, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @mahjut mutizwa might deserve a spot fine so if he gets selected who will miss out?zim needs a batsman who can be consistent in the middle order chigumbura has to step up as the allrounder cause i think they should feild at least 8 batsman

  • on January 5, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    i think Zim are a team for the future, they have talent that's for sure. Ive been curious to see how they'll go in NZ conditions and judging by Brendan Taylors contributions in the NZ domestic comp it should make good viewing, lets just hope that the rest of the Zim lineup can follow his example. I think if Zim can bring through 1-2 more world class performers (like Taylor, Price and maybe Taibu) they'd be a dam tough proposition. Even in the 90's that seemed like there problem, relying on the Flowers, Streaks and Campbells when they had them. Im hoping for a good contest anyway and crossing my fingers for a resurgent NZ victory (our pace attack hasn't looked this good since Bond, Tuffey, Martin & Cairns). GO BLACKCAPS!!!

  • zimbhopeach on January 5, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    thats the zim team of these days, folks. and it doesnt look bad at all. but it is true that the chibhabhas and mutizwa need to come to party in the middle order and give us the game like the one we the last time the black caps visited. i know we can upset them in their backyard. go taylor!! and vitori too...