Afghanistan in Zimbabwe 2014 July 22, 2014

Sibanda dropped for remaining Afghanistan ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Vusi Sibanda has been dropped from the Zimbabwe squad for the remaining two ODIs against Afghanistan. Richmond Mutumbami has been named as Sibanda's replacement.

Sibanda made 4 in the first match of the series and was not included for the second one-dayer. A release from Zimbabwe Cricket said that Sibanda had been left out following "indifferent performances."

Givemore Makoni, the convener of selectors, told Sibanda that he could remain in Bulawayo and train with the squad, but the batsman chose to return to Harare to work on his game. Makoni said that Sibanda will join the squad again for the forthcoming tours by South Africa and Australia so that the selectors can look at him again.

Sibanda is one of the most experienced Zimbabwe batsmen, and has made 2710 runs in 112 ODIs at an average of 25.09. He averaged 36 in 13 ODIs in 2013 with one hundred and three fifties.

Mutumbami made 73 for Zimbabwe A in the second tour match against Afghanistan last week. He is yet to play limited-overs cricket for Zimbabwe, although he has figured in four Tests.

Zimbabwe squad Brendan Taylor (capt), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingi Masakadza, Natsai M'shangwe. Richmond Mutumbami, Tinashe Panyangara, Donald Tiripano, Prosper Utseya, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams

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  • ZCF on July 23, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    In 2011 Dean du Plessis did say "Vusi Sibanda has always made it clear that he prefers batting in the middle order, and the number four position in particular, has been his favourite spot." Just four months ago in 2014 on that fateful match when Taylor handed Ireland the win, he also remarked "Sibanda is most definitely the country's best batsman."

  • Julian on July 23, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast My first memories of Vusi are of him opening against the West Indies in 2003, but I have seen him dropped down the order before ..... The point you missed is that if Taylor,Waller and Williams all refused to bat top 3 then why doesn't Vusi ?? Vusi would be the 3rd most senior batsman so you would think he has some 'weight' around the place.I can't ever remember Vusi stating he doesn't like opening but I'm not involved around the team,and if this is the case please explain why he is forced to open ??? Are you claiming there is some type of conspiracy going on @ZC which is making Vusi open ?? Surely you can't say every coach Vusi has had is biased or forced him to open ?? Especially Bhundu who has shown he doesn't pick favourites after dropping his son Malcolm from both ODI & t20 teams at different times ....

  • ZCF on July 22, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    @Julian_Vella If you recall, Vusi was always a #4 batsman. Openers struggle in the logan Cup. Raza&Kasuza dropped down the order remember. It was ZC who encouraged senior players to start playing up the order. Mawoyo was doing that already. Only Vusi stepped up, Hami only to 1st drop but good enough. Sadly players like Taylor, Williams&Malcolm refuse to bat in the top 3 in domestic cricket. A similar trend they apply in international cricket. One wonders what would happen if Mawoyo, Hami&Vusi all likewise refused to bat in the top 3. We need to get rid of that impression. Williams&Waller need to bat in the top as middle order bats Maruma,Regis&Mutizwa have been forced to do in international cricket before. Like wise Vusi needs to bat lower down the order if he wants to. Even AB&Mike Hussey, both with decent techniques, have been given that privilege after struggling while opening.

  • Julian on July 22, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    Vusi will be back do not fear he has been dropped before and always comes back with a bang, the last time he was dropped he returned with a 40 odd score then an unbeaten hundred against BD …..

    I think Vusi gets complacent when he feels he is safe in the team so dropping him every now and then is good for him …..

    ZCFOutkast we have disagreed before about whether Vusi is a opener or middle order player, but the fact is there isn't any better options to open and Vusi has a good technique so he opens. If he really had a problem with it you would think he would get a shot down the order even @ franchise level he opens ……..

  • Aditya on July 22, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Once upon a time Zimbabwea had a Cricket team comprising of Alistar Cambell, Wishart, Flowers, Goodwin, Jhonson, Carlisle, quality allrounders like Guy Whitall, Blignaut, Friend, Paul Strang. BOWLERS LIKE EDO BRANDES, HEATH STREAK & OLONGA who threatned the big teams The current team is not even 2% of it

  • ZCF on July 22, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    Fielding is fundamental, but Vusi is by far the best fielder Zimbabwe have currently, with Elton a distant second. But what you say is true Neither keeping nor bowling makes him the most dispensable of the lot. For as long as Elton, Malcolm, Maruma&Raza bowl often, and do so effectively when ttheir batting sags, then that point stands.

  • Farai on July 22, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    the problem for him when he is not batting well is that he is the most dispensable. everyone else can bat and bowl or vice versa which leaves him the odd man out. sometimes his problem is being labelled aggressive when he hits exciting boundaries but gives away too many dots. so overall he becomes the weakest link since fielding and wicket-keeping is fundamental. i agree totally with him being dropped

  • ZCF on July 22, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    None of our batsmen have displayed the ability to score big runs across all formats from the less testing middle order, and that's where Vusi is being missed by being sacrificed to the new ball against his will. Hami was also messed around this way before he stamped his foot down, but not the rest. It's time Vusi insisted as well because barring Hami, Taylor&Williams, no other batsmen can claim to be an equal #4-6 bat than him in Zimbabwe. Certainly not Chakabva, Malcolm, Maruma&Mutumbami. At the end of the day the biggest question will always be that ahead of this Afghanistan series, Vusi was the best Zim ODI batsman since start of 2013, so with Taylor&Malcolm's form more indifferent than his, why was he dropped for Malcom?

  • ZCF on July 22, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Not ideal. Vusi has been the most misused player in that squad over the last few years. Hamilton was given time up and down the order to find his niche. Taylor had shockers opening in 2011&12 but was allowed to slide down to where he wanted. Malcolm&Williams are dead set against batting in top three and allowed that luxury without question. Chigumbura&Maruma started out as number #8 batsmen at best so #5 is a position too far in international cricket for them already. Chakabva is not really suited to LOIs, but a potential #3 or 4 bat in Tests. While Mutumbami has got an aggressive side to his game, serious questions would have to be asked of the decisionmakers's bias, if he were to be expected to bat above Hami, Taylor, Williams! Same applies to Chakabva. Raza was introduced to domestic cricket in Zimbabwe as an opener, so he was always destined to be tested&judged on that position, and done well so far.

    The fact is Vusi is a middle order batsman who continues to be forced to open. No

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