Zimbabwe recall Nyumbu for first two NZ ODIs
Zimbabwe have made four changes to their 15-man squad for the first two ODIs against New Zealand in Harare, including a recall for 30-year-old offspinner John Nyumbu. Batsman Craig Ervine and fast bowler Chris Mpofu, who were both left out of the squad for the home ODIs against India, were picked for the New Zealand series, as was allrounder Luke Jongwe, who has not played for Zimbabwe since making his international debut last year.
Wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami, middle-order batsman Malcolm Waller, and the seamers Donald Tiripano and Brian Vitori were all dropped following a poor ODI series against India, which Zimbabwe lost 3-0.
Nyumbu made his international debut during the only Test against South Africa in Harare last August, and became only the second Zimbabwe bowler to take a five-for on Test debut. He played his first ODI later that month, also against South Africa, but his patchy form - 11 wickets from 10 matches at 37.63 - led to him being cut from the side after the fifth ODI against Bangladesh, a series where Zimbabwe were whitewashed 5-0. Nyumbu, though, continued to produce solid numbers in domestic cricket, picking up 12 wickets for Matabeleland Tuskers and helping the team to the final of the Pro50 Championship.
Ervine makes a return to the ODI team despite a mediocre run with the bat; he scored just nine runs from the two T20Is against India, and his last international fifty was back in the World Cup, against West Indies in Canberra. Mpofu's spot in the team, though, was presumably earned after his impressive performance in the first T20I against India, where he collected 3 for 33 through cutters and slower deliveries; Mpofu would later term his stint with the team "the best time of my career".
Zimbabwe are scheduled to play three ODIs against New Zealand between August 2 and August 7, followed by a T20I on August 9, all in Harare.
Squad (first two ODIs): Elton Chigumbura (captain), Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Regis Chakabva (wk), Graeme Cremer, Prosper Utseya, Tinashe Panyangara, Christopher Mpofu, John Nyumbu, Vusi Sibanda, Luke Jongwe, Neville Madziva