South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 August 22, 2014

Was dropping Brendan Taylor warranted?

While Zimbabwe coach Stephen Mangongo's uncompromising approach that will keep people on their toes is something to be lauded, the question remains, does Brendan Taylor's recent run of form justify him being left out of the eleven?
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Brendan Taylor has probably earned some time to remain flat-footed
Brendan Taylor has probably earned some time to remain flat-footed © AFP

To speak of Zimbabwe cricket and certainty in the same breath is to speak of white Christmases in Africa: they just do not happen. The former sways between changes to the structures, payment delays and a fixture list that can make the shifting sands of the Arabian desert seem stable when compared with cricket in the country, but one man changed that. Brendan Taylor.

Since making his debut in April 2004, Taylor has been involved in almost every ODI - the format Zimbabwe play most often - his country has taken part in. Almost, because in 2008, he missed out on 17 ODIs after making himself unavailable because of a dispute with the board and a year before that he was dropped for the last match of a series in Bangladesh and the return home series after notching up scores of 1, 1 and 4 in the three games prior to his axing.

Apart from those games where Taylor was left out, poor form had never accounted for his place in the XI until Thursday. With Zimbabwe 2-nil down in a three-match series and batting their broken element, their most experienced top-order player, Taylor, was left out. He was not injured, he was not being rested, he was dropped.

The disbelief resonated from the commentary box to social media platforms were questions over whether a return of 20 runs from the two matches that preceded the final fixture was reason enough to bench the man who put on 93 in a Test a week earlier and scored a half-century and a 43 against Afghanistan in the last month's contest. Zimbabwe's coach Stephen Mangongo believed it was.

"It's a professional sport, there is always pressure. It is not Boozer's XI," Mangongo said. "It is a privilege to be selected, it is not a right. Whether you get one game or 20, there is always pressure and if you are professional and you get paid to do the job you must go and do the job."

The truth is that almost no one among Zimbabwe's specialist batsmen were doing their job. Although their margins to South Africa defeat got smaller as the series went on, their methods of getting to those results grew worse because of their batting. Mangongo acknowledged that the efforts were lopsided with the tail wagging the dog quite literally.

"The lower order batted with a lot of courage, a lot of determination, a lot of pride and dignity. They put runs on the board more than the top order," he said. "Obviously we've got our work cut out for us in terms of the top order. It has been a perennial struggle and we've still got that problem on our hands. We've got to confront the demons and deal with them and get it right at some stage if we want to compete, let alone beat international sides."

In attempting to piece the puzzle together Zimbabwe trialled different combinations, all unsuccessfully. The Vusi Sibanda-Richmond Mutumbami pair yielded 16 runs before Hamilton Masakadza, who came in at No. 3 steadied things. When Masakadza was promoted into Sibanda's spot for the second game, he put on 21 runs with Mutumbami but Sikandar Raza who was installed at No. 3 did not score at all. On their second go, Masakadza and Mutumbami were out in the first two overs and while Raza showed promise, it was up to Elton Chigumbura, promoted into Taylor's spot, to give the innings a backbone.

Exactly what Zimbabwe gleaned from all that is probably only that Masakadza should not be opening. Although he has scored most of his runs at the top, he has admitted to being more comfortable at first-drop. Sibanda's talent has bought time often in the past but whether it will continue to do so with both Raza and Mutumbami around is doubtful, unless Mutumbami moves down. There may be a case for Chigumbura being given more time at the crease but there is doesn't seem to be any for leaving Taylor out, something which seems to be happening increasingly.

Taylor was stripped of the ODI captaincy after the Afghanistan series as part of a plan to unburden him. He was also taken off wicketkeeping duty, which Mangongo explained before the South Africa series. "I'm looking at a specialist role. I don't believe in part-timers," he said. "Wicketkeeping is a key role and I need the best man for the job, not a part-timer and that is the route we are going to do. BT is going to specialise in his batting, not keeping. That's his role. We will look at a specialist keeper to do the job."

Mangongo promised to be equally harsh on other players who did not pull their weight. "Nobody is safe. We are coming from bruising encounters with Afghanistan where we have slid to our lowest levels - losing to an Associate member. It just tells you that there is something wrong here and we need to fix it," he said. "This is part of the roadmap to fixing it and making sure we are competitive against the top teams and we thrash the Associates. Nobody is safe because we haven't done well."

Sibanda experienced that recently and now, so has Taylor. Although his dropping is proving more difficult for Zimbabwean fans to stomach. Taylor's decade with the national team has included acts that have made him a hero to people of varying backgrounds.

Taylor refused to join the white-player walkout because he felt he was too young to involve himself politically and wanted to play for Zimbabwe. Although he had a dispute with the board in the years when chaos reigned, his was shortlived. On Test return, he led from the front. When more players walked away, he remained and that is not for lack of opportunity to follow them.

As recently as the eve of the South Africa Test there were whispers that Taylor was contemplating a Kolpak offer. He denied that and confirmed he had resigned with ZC for the next year. Following his axing, he posted on Twitter: "I can't wait to represent my country again. I will be back," he posted on Thursday."

Mangongo's uncompromising approach that will keep people on their toes is something to be lauded in an environment where mediocrity has been accepted too often. That said, Taylor has seldom been the protagonist of those middling times and so he has probably earned some time to remain flat-footed. The tri-series will tell.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ZCFOutkast on August 24, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    @Jono Makim I've given you stats which prove that since the start 2011 when ZIM has regularly been taken "seriously" as a Full Member Taylor has been a far much weaker ODI opener&would not have managed to keep his place in that team, yet you fail to acknowledge that obvious fact.

    Secondly even if you broaden the stats to include all batting positions(see below), Taylor's average is still very much comparable to pretty much everyone else(NO inc). Not just 2/3 matches of low scores but longer like others. This article is about ODIs&he's been in the same class as the rest! As I said, I have absolutely no doubt that batting from the same position, Hami&Vusi would also have been able to convert some of the 50s into 100s plus a higher average, but they are almost always out come say the easy middle overs&powerplay.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;spanmin1=01+jan+2011;spanval1=span;team=9;template=results;type=batting

  • Nduru on August 23, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    @Jono. You are correct. Sadly, the current setup is going to continue to alienate the best players. My concern is with the authoritarian approach and with the attitude that your best players should do as you tell them or you will punish them like school boys. I read an article the other day that Mongogo made guys who came late run 30 laps of the ground and they were too tired to bowl in the nets, to the detriment of them and the batsmen. Sure, they should not come late, but there should be a more professional system of punishing them. Then there is the statement by the convener of selectors who said that if a good batsman does not score "match winning" scores, he should be dropped. But the fact is that Zim is going to lose most of its matches, so do you drop all the players? And what if a batsman has more pressure because the bowlers were poor, or the openers did not fire? The reasoning is so poor and you wonder if the admin even know anything about how cricket works!

  • on August 23, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    @Nduru, I have a bad feeling you are right about what comes next for Zimbabwean cricket, they've already lost a lot of talent over the last couple of years in Taibu, Ervine and Jarvis and while I was excited to see Nyumbu bowling the other day, he looks a good talent, ZC just cannot afford to keep watching their players set off into the sunset. There is always going to be more players come through to replace them, but a stronger team creates an even stronger competition for places underneath it. I see more departures in the near future.

  • on August 23, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST, well I guess you just have different criteria for a player to be dropped. I would never drop a player like Taylor, nor Masakadza or Williams. Why? Because they are clearly the best batsmen Zimbabwe have, they are all hard working pro's who keep their reputations clean and all compete as hard as they can on the field. You don't drop blokes like that after two or three failures, not even five or six, perhaps not even a dozen or more, because they are the best you have and if you are going to build the strongest team possible you need your best and hardest working talent, regardless of form. You will never have a team of xi in form players, never. So you pick your best men and stick with them, most of the time 8 or 9 will be pretty clear choices, in this case Taylor is certainly amongst those. Right now Zimbabwe just does not have the luxury of leaving out their best cricketer, even if he's not at his best he's a mile better than a Waller, Sibanda or anyone else.

  • Nduru on August 23, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Thanks @Jono Makim for bringing much needed sanity to this debate. When you have player who has proved time and again to be the best in the side, you do not just drop him when he plays one or two false shots. He is not out of form for goodness sakes, he just scored 93 in the test and he has been going out trying to push the scoring along when he feared the team were falling behind in any case. Mangongo's coaching style is going to push all the best players out, mark my works. These are not high school boys but professionals who also need some respect.

  • ZCFOutkast on August 23, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    @Jono Makim don't shy away from facts through broad generalisations. Your answers are entirely inconsistent with the context of the article and my arguments in response to the article. I have provided SPECIFIC series as examples(look them up) where Taylor also deserved to be dropped after 2 or 3 failures as was the case recently, in order to prove that what Mangongo did is not surprising. It has been done to others and captaincy is the only thing that prevented the same from happening to him, not that his battiing record was better.

    Since 2011 these are the stats for ALL openers: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_positionmax1=2;batting_positionmin1=1;batting_positionval1=batting_position;class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;spanmin1=01+jan+2011;spanval1=span;team=9;template=results;type=batting

    Taylor has failed opening, but the solution was to drop down the order where he found more success. As an opener he's worse. Vusi's 50s prove class!!!

  • on August 23, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    Finally, just to show how highly BT ranks amongst Zimbabwean batsmen, he is one of just four with a test average about 35, having played 20 innings. The others are Andy Flower, Dave Houghton and Murray Goodwin. By Zimbabwean standards that is very good going indeed. BT is very clearly Zimbabwe's best allround batsman since Andy Flower departed, no amount of baseless arguments is going to alter that FACT. Just like Australia never dropped Ponting, England never dropped Cook and SA never dropped Smith, nor should Zimbabwe be dropping Brendan Taylor.

  • grahaam on August 23, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    @jona Makim, thanks for the stats, that we all knew would show BT is where you describe. @ZCFOUTKAST quotes stats that do not exist , those he dreams up, as he continues his fantasy Zimbabwe Cricket perception.

  • on August 23, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    Another stat for you, here is the list of players who average more than 30 for Zimbabwe, with a qualification of 20 matches... Ali Campbell 30.50, C.Ervine 35.10 (what a pity he has left), Andy Flower 35.34, Grant Flower 33.52, Neil Johnson 36.50, Brendan Taylor 33.39, Sean Williams 32.60.

    Only AliCampbell with 7 centuries has more than BT's 6. Grant Flower also has 6.

    Notable mentions should go to Stuart Carlisle, Tatenda Taibu, Heath Streak, Hami Masakadza and Murray Goodwin who all average between 27 and 30. And a special mention also for Forster Mutizwa who averages 31 from his 17 matches, one wonders why he has not played for Zimbabwe in the last few years? Particularly with his FC average of 40.

    So then it is pretty clear, Brendan Taylor belongs to the upper echelon of Zimbabwe's very best batsmen and having made 93 against SA in the test match was evidently not in poor form.

    A top 7 of Hami, BT, Ballance, Taibu, Williams, Ervine and Chigumbura would be a great sight!

  • MuthuKumar_Vanalingam on August 23, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    I am from India, but I follow cricket played all over world. If there is one person in zim team who has earned the respect of cricket followers from all over the world, it would be Brendon Taylor. His brave decision to chase 370+ in 4th innings against NZ in NZ and came close (just falling short) is something that indian fans can only wish to see from their country captain. So I was shocked to see him dropped for an ODI. This is not the way to manage cricketers as far as I am concerned.

  • ZCFOutkast on August 24, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    @Jono Makim I've given you stats which prove that since the start 2011 when ZIM has regularly been taken "seriously" as a Full Member Taylor has been a far much weaker ODI opener&would not have managed to keep his place in that team, yet you fail to acknowledge that obvious fact.

    Secondly even if you broaden the stats to include all batting positions(see below), Taylor's average is still very much comparable to pretty much everyone else(NO inc). Not just 2/3 matches of low scores but longer like others. This article is about ODIs&he's been in the same class as the rest! As I said, I have absolutely no doubt that batting from the same position, Hami&Vusi would also have been able to convert some of the 50s into 100s plus a higher average, but they are almost always out come say the easy middle overs&powerplay.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;spanmin1=01+jan+2011;spanval1=span;team=9;template=results;type=batting

  • Nduru on August 23, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    @Jono. You are correct. Sadly, the current setup is going to continue to alienate the best players. My concern is with the authoritarian approach and with the attitude that your best players should do as you tell them or you will punish them like school boys. I read an article the other day that Mongogo made guys who came late run 30 laps of the ground and they were too tired to bowl in the nets, to the detriment of them and the batsmen. Sure, they should not come late, but there should be a more professional system of punishing them. Then there is the statement by the convener of selectors who said that if a good batsman does not score "match winning" scores, he should be dropped. But the fact is that Zim is going to lose most of its matches, so do you drop all the players? And what if a batsman has more pressure because the bowlers were poor, or the openers did not fire? The reasoning is so poor and you wonder if the admin even know anything about how cricket works!

  • on August 23, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    @Nduru, I have a bad feeling you are right about what comes next for Zimbabwean cricket, they've already lost a lot of talent over the last couple of years in Taibu, Ervine and Jarvis and while I was excited to see Nyumbu bowling the other day, he looks a good talent, ZC just cannot afford to keep watching their players set off into the sunset. There is always going to be more players come through to replace them, but a stronger team creates an even stronger competition for places underneath it. I see more departures in the near future.

  • on August 23, 2014, 15:08 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST, well I guess you just have different criteria for a player to be dropped. I would never drop a player like Taylor, nor Masakadza or Williams. Why? Because they are clearly the best batsmen Zimbabwe have, they are all hard working pro's who keep their reputations clean and all compete as hard as they can on the field. You don't drop blokes like that after two or three failures, not even five or six, perhaps not even a dozen or more, because they are the best you have and if you are going to build the strongest team possible you need your best and hardest working talent, regardless of form. You will never have a team of xi in form players, never. So you pick your best men and stick with them, most of the time 8 or 9 will be pretty clear choices, in this case Taylor is certainly amongst those. Right now Zimbabwe just does not have the luxury of leaving out their best cricketer, even if he's not at his best he's a mile better than a Waller, Sibanda or anyone else.

  • Nduru on August 23, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Thanks @Jono Makim for bringing much needed sanity to this debate. When you have player who has proved time and again to be the best in the side, you do not just drop him when he plays one or two false shots. He is not out of form for goodness sakes, he just scored 93 in the test and he has been going out trying to push the scoring along when he feared the team were falling behind in any case. Mangongo's coaching style is going to push all the best players out, mark my works. These are not high school boys but professionals who also need some respect.

  • ZCFOutkast on August 23, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    @Jono Makim don't shy away from facts through broad generalisations. Your answers are entirely inconsistent with the context of the article and my arguments in response to the article. I have provided SPECIFIC series as examples(look them up) where Taylor also deserved to be dropped after 2 or 3 failures as was the case recently, in order to prove that what Mangongo did is not surprising. It has been done to others and captaincy is the only thing that prevented the same from happening to him, not that his battiing record was better.

    Since 2011 these are the stats for ALL openers: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_positionmax1=2;batting_positionmin1=1;batting_positionval1=batting_position;class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;spanmin1=01+jan+2011;spanval1=span;team=9;template=results;type=batting

    Taylor has failed opening, but the solution was to drop down the order where he found more success. As an opener he's worse. Vusi's 50s prove class!!!

  • on August 23, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    Finally, just to show how highly BT ranks amongst Zimbabwean batsmen, he is one of just four with a test average about 35, having played 20 innings. The others are Andy Flower, Dave Houghton and Murray Goodwin. By Zimbabwean standards that is very good going indeed. BT is very clearly Zimbabwe's best allround batsman since Andy Flower departed, no amount of baseless arguments is going to alter that FACT. Just like Australia never dropped Ponting, England never dropped Cook and SA never dropped Smith, nor should Zimbabwe be dropping Brendan Taylor.

  • grahaam on August 23, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    @jona Makim, thanks for the stats, that we all knew would show BT is where you describe. @ZCFOUTKAST quotes stats that do not exist , those he dreams up, as he continues his fantasy Zimbabwe Cricket perception.

  • on August 23, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    Another stat for you, here is the list of players who average more than 30 for Zimbabwe, with a qualification of 20 matches... Ali Campbell 30.50, C.Ervine 35.10 (what a pity he has left), Andy Flower 35.34, Grant Flower 33.52, Neil Johnson 36.50, Brendan Taylor 33.39, Sean Williams 32.60.

    Only AliCampbell with 7 centuries has more than BT's 6. Grant Flower also has 6.

    Notable mentions should go to Stuart Carlisle, Tatenda Taibu, Heath Streak, Hami Masakadza and Murray Goodwin who all average between 27 and 30. And a special mention also for Forster Mutizwa who averages 31 from his 17 matches, one wonders why he has not played for Zimbabwe in the last few years? Particularly with his FC average of 40.

    So then it is pretty clear, Brendan Taylor belongs to the upper echelon of Zimbabwe's very best batsmen and having made 93 against SA in the test match was evidently not in poor form.

    A top 7 of Hami, BT, Ballance, Taibu, Williams, Ervine and Chigumbura would be a great sight!

  • MuthuKumar_Vanalingam on August 23, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    I am from India, but I follow cricket played all over world. If there is one person in zim team who has earned the respect of cricket followers from all over the world, it would be Brendon Taylor. His brave decision to chase 370+ in 4th innings against NZ in NZ and came close (just falling short) is something that indian fans can only wish to see from their country captain. So I was shocked to see him dropped for an ODI. This is not the way to manage cricketers as far as I am concerned.

  • on August 23, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST, here is a statistic for you my friend, Brendan Taylor has an average of 28.90 opening the batting in ODI cricket from 56 matches. Hamilton Masakadza 32.4 from 73 matches and finally Vusi Sibanda 27 from 93 matches. Sibanda actually does worse when not opening. It seems to me then that your argument that Taylor and others have better records than Sibanda simply because they are batting in 'softer' positions is not statistically precise at all. Taylor has a better record than Sibanda as an opener and a far better record when not opening. Likewise Hamilton also does better as an opener rather than not and by quite some distance, he really should be opening the whole time regardless of whether or not he feels more comfortable at 3. It is high time for the likes of Mawoyo or Sikandar to be given a longer run at opening up, both having List A averages of over 30 while after 213 matches Vusi is averaging a mere 25. He is just not an international cricketer. This is reasoned!

  • ZCFOutkast on August 23, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Regardless of one's preconceived perceptions about the author of the comment, it's both expected&reasonable to respond on merit to the arguments raised. The points that I mentioned are both statistically&factually precise. Context is also paramount. The article expresses concern about Taylor's dropping as well as raises defences against such a move, and I have duly argued that there's been several more warranting situations in the past when Taylor has failed to the point of deserving to be dropped but that was not done(2011 incoming tours of BD&PAK, plus 2012 away tour to WI etc). So in essence my comment proved there should be absolutely nothing surprising or wrong about him being briefly dropped before, now&in future. Had Masakadza, Williams, Sibanda&even Ervine experienced those spells of low returns, they would have been dropped instantly (Sean, Craig&Sibanda have been before). Not so with Taylor. Partiality&captaincy saved him. Thankfully Mangongo is the boss now - & is impartial.

  • on August 23, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    What a poor decision to drop the Zimbabaawe's best player, Brendon Taylor. Surely statistics are there for the coach and selector to analyse. They just cannot use one or two games to make their selection. I m just wondering if they trying to frustrate Taylor first by dropping him as the Captain and now drop him as a player. Is there some hidden agenda??

  • Greatest_Game on August 23, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    @ ZCFOutkast. I'm astonished that you would advocate dropping Taylor! Not.

  • grahaam on August 23, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    This man Mangongo is not an International Cricket Coach(fact) He may be level 4 but with no practical experience, , you do not drop world class cricketers after a small lull in form , you manage them back to form!!! As pointed out this guy scored nearly 100 in one innings against Steyn and co while his team mates could not cope!!As for ZCFOUTKAST ststing that he should do better as he is not opening!! Coming in at 4 with 20 odd runs on the board means you are effectively opening!! Back to the coach, how can he help Taylor back to form!?! He cant!! Taylor himself is probably the best batting coach in the Zim set up now,

  • Greatest_Game on August 23, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    Mangongo promised to be equally harsh on other players who did not pull their weight. "Nobody is safeā€¦. It just tells you that there is something wrong here and we need to fix it... Nobody is safe because we haven't done well."

    There is something wrong. We need to fix it. Nobody is safe? Does that include the coach? There are, after all, multiple elements to a team. Players are one element. Players have been dropped, players have been promoted, players have been shuffled. The team's performance worsened. Shuffling the players seems to be like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Perhaps some of the other elements need to be examined?

  • on August 23, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    It's always the case that with new management comes new rules. One had rather hoped the new management would see sense and not change the line of business from a supermarket filled with a large assortment of products to a small bottle store in the middle of the bushes of Gomtutu with lion matches lined up on the otherwise empty shelves.

  • on August 23, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    Wish the Indian coach had done the same thing to a Virat Kohli or a Pujara. That would have sent out the right message- to the players, as well as the fans, that non performance is not tolerated.

  • MeijiMura on August 23, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    Mangongo could be the final nail in Zimbabwe's cricket coffin. Zimbabwe don't have the playing depth to continually disenfranchise their best players. One day there will be nothing left as all the best players would have been driven away. On its present course Zimbabwe has no future in world cricket.

  • Nduru on August 22, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    Once again, ZCFOutkast is coming up with his weird and wonderful "theories". The stats don't lie buddy. Taylor has the best record by far of any of our batsmen, on the world rankings, and in terms of his average. It is total rubbish that he was close to being dropped several times. Zimbabwe do not have the luxury of dropping their best player, and he HAS been the best player for many years. Vusi is like Shakib Al Hasan: talented but never performs or so inconsistent that you would tear your hair out. BT also had the responsibility of being the wicket keeper in many games - something you conveniently forget. Face facts, ZCF: Taylor and Williams are a cut above your darlings. Hami is good on his day, but he also struggles with consistency.

  • on August 22, 2014, 20:35 GMT

    this is again happening..... talentedwhite and coloured players are not given any chance in niether international or domestic stage,in place of them useless waist black cricketers are gettin chance after chance..... why so? is cricket in zimbabwe is based on ratnality ..... why not bring young gifted talent like malcom lake,ervine,nathan waller etc. a go at international stage....well you will say they are not tested....but is not that in current and past untested cricket articles are given numerous chances...whereas the talented like hundermark,berry,reinsford,creamer,higgins,querl,friend,staddon,butterworth etc. waited for there chance to represent. i m not saying that black players who are extremely talented like zongwe shouldnot be given a chance but waist like tripano etc. were repeatedly held. and who is this mogango buddy anyway,the administration in zim cricket is now reflecting the countries state from quite a time..... hope things may change and we may again see zim at peak.

  • SamWintson92 on August 22, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    Brendan Taylor is the best batsman of Zimbabwe with all his records. He hasn't been in poor form in any year. Just odd 2 low scores can't force you to drop your best batsmen. The oppornent must be laughing at this error of Zimbabwe as they won't need to worry about getting the best Zimbabwean batsman Taylor out. Taylor deserves to captain in all 3 formats. Can't understand why he has been removed from the shorter versions. Stephen Mangongo isn't the right person to coach. Believe these facts or not !

  • and1son on August 22, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    i didn't have a problem with it at all. if it was in the 2nd odi then i'd be worried. sometimes people need to be given a reality check in which mangongo will never be popular for. the only problem for him is the player pool he works with but he would be comparable to ferguson, mourinho and van gaal in football terms. obviously taylor is going to be playing against Aus and SA in the tri-series and that is not in doubt.

    i would have wanted sibanda, waller (who i sided with and failed me) and maruma all play to finally show what they are made of and stop making excuses. obviously an opener is needed and with mutumbami back to lower order.

    every team has an x-factor player and sometimes it's important to find out what you're made of if that player is ever injured or unavailable

    for the tri-series 1) mawoyo 2) raza 3) masakadza 4) taylor 5) williams 6) chigumbura 7)mutumbami 8) utseya 9) nyumbu 10) vitori 11) chatara.... 12) sibanda 13) jongwe 14) panyangara 15) kaia/vermeulen

  • on August 22, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    Warranted? Only if they wanted to give the man a rest before the tri series. He is Zimbabwe's best bat by a distance and along with Hamilton and Sean Williams one of just three who look like they are going to contribute regularly. Mutumbami shouldn't be anywhere near the top of the order and Vusi just can't cut it either. Taylor, Raza, Hamilton, Williams, Chigumbura should be the top five going into the tri series. The rest of the Zimbabweans who've played at the top of the order recently just aren't up to scratch. What a pity Mawoyo is more a test specialist as he looks a composed man, may just be an idea to bring him in as an anchorman at the top. In any case I just don't understand why Zimbabwe don't go with their best players at the top of the order because they can bat there and the guys who would come into the middle order should the likes of Hami and BT go up are far better bats than their counterparts who are currently being fed to the lions.

  • ZCFOutkast on August 22, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    My argument has always been that both Hamilton Masakdza & Vusi Sibanda would also be consistent and score half centuries&centuries from positions 4-6, just as we see Williams doing, and likewise Taibu before them. One would argue that they'd probably have even better records from those soft batting positions. Conversely Taylor himself and Williams would probably be even poorer than Masakadza&Sibanda if they were to open. So in acknowledging success, one must consider the batting positions. Heck even Malcolm Waller, Regis Chakabva&Mutumbami have also looked like gold when batting in the lower middle order. Taylor has deserved to be dropped from the ODI&T20 sides several times. It was the case when Bangladesh&Pakistan toured in 2011, and very much the case when Zimbabwe toured the West Indies in 2013. Zimbabwe have had 10 ODI Series since start of 2011. Taylor has been very poor for all except 2 or 3, mostly involving NZ. If it wasn't for captaincy he would have long been dropped!!!

  • SurlyCynic on August 22, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    Mangongo says the players aren't doing their jobs. But given recent results, is the coach doing his job? Is changing players every single game harming the team?

  • sohanpandey578 on August 22, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    It's very sad . Best batsman gets drop.

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  • sohanpandey578 on August 22, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    It's very sad . Best batsman gets drop.

  • SurlyCynic on August 22, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    Mangongo says the players aren't doing their jobs. But given recent results, is the coach doing his job? Is changing players every single game harming the team?

  • ZCFOutkast on August 22, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    My argument has always been that both Hamilton Masakdza & Vusi Sibanda would also be consistent and score half centuries&centuries from positions 4-6, just as we see Williams doing, and likewise Taibu before them. One would argue that they'd probably have even better records from those soft batting positions. Conversely Taylor himself and Williams would probably be even poorer than Masakadza&Sibanda if they were to open. So in acknowledging success, one must consider the batting positions. Heck even Malcolm Waller, Regis Chakabva&Mutumbami have also looked like gold when batting in the lower middle order. Taylor has deserved to be dropped from the ODI&T20 sides several times. It was the case when Bangladesh&Pakistan toured in 2011, and very much the case when Zimbabwe toured the West Indies in 2013. Zimbabwe have had 10 ODI Series since start of 2011. Taylor has been very poor for all except 2 or 3, mostly involving NZ. If it wasn't for captaincy he would have long been dropped!!!

  • on August 22, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    Warranted? Only if they wanted to give the man a rest before the tri series. He is Zimbabwe's best bat by a distance and along with Hamilton and Sean Williams one of just three who look like they are going to contribute regularly. Mutumbami shouldn't be anywhere near the top of the order and Vusi just can't cut it either. Taylor, Raza, Hamilton, Williams, Chigumbura should be the top five going into the tri series. The rest of the Zimbabweans who've played at the top of the order recently just aren't up to scratch. What a pity Mawoyo is more a test specialist as he looks a composed man, may just be an idea to bring him in as an anchorman at the top. In any case I just don't understand why Zimbabwe don't go with their best players at the top of the order because they can bat there and the guys who would come into the middle order should the likes of Hami and BT go up are far better bats than their counterparts who are currently being fed to the lions.

  • and1son on August 22, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    i didn't have a problem with it at all. if it was in the 2nd odi then i'd be worried. sometimes people need to be given a reality check in which mangongo will never be popular for. the only problem for him is the player pool he works with but he would be comparable to ferguson, mourinho and van gaal in football terms. obviously taylor is going to be playing against Aus and SA in the tri-series and that is not in doubt.

    i would have wanted sibanda, waller (who i sided with and failed me) and maruma all play to finally show what they are made of and stop making excuses. obviously an opener is needed and with mutumbami back to lower order.

    every team has an x-factor player and sometimes it's important to find out what you're made of if that player is ever injured or unavailable

    for the tri-series 1) mawoyo 2) raza 3) masakadza 4) taylor 5) williams 6) chigumbura 7)mutumbami 8) utseya 9) nyumbu 10) vitori 11) chatara.... 12) sibanda 13) jongwe 14) panyangara 15) kaia/vermeulen

  • SamWintson92 on August 22, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    Brendan Taylor is the best batsman of Zimbabwe with all his records. He hasn't been in poor form in any year. Just odd 2 low scores can't force you to drop your best batsmen. The oppornent must be laughing at this error of Zimbabwe as they won't need to worry about getting the best Zimbabwean batsman Taylor out. Taylor deserves to captain in all 3 formats. Can't understand why he has been removed from the shorter versions. Stephen Mangongo isn't the right person to coach. Believe these facts or not !

  • on August 22, 2014, 20:35 GMT

    this is again happening..... talentedwhite and coloured players are not given any chance in niether international or domestic stage,in place of them useless waist black cricketers are gettin chance after chance..... why so? is cricket in zimbabwe is based on ratnality ..... why not bring young gifted talent like malcom lake,ervine,nathan waller etc. a go at international stage....well you will say they are not tested....but is not that in current and past untested cricket articles are given numerous chances...whereas the talented like hundermark,berry,reinsford,creamer,higgins,querl,friend,staddon,butterworth etc. waited for there chance to represent. i m not saying that black players who are extremely talented like zongwe shouldnot be given a chance but waist like tripano etc. were repeatedly held. and who is this mogango buddy anyway,the administration in zim cricket is now reflecting the countries state from quite a time..... hope things may change and we may again see zim at peak.

  • Nduru on August 22, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    Once again, ZCFOutkast is coming up with his weird and wonderful "theories". The stats don't lie buddy. Taylor has the best record by far of any of our batsmen, on the world rankings, and in terms of his average. It is total rubbish that he was close to being dropped several times. Zimbabwe do not have the luxury of dropping their best player, and he HAS been the best player for many years. Vusi is like Shakib Al Hasan: talented but never performs or so inconsistent that you would tear your hair out. BT also had the responsibility of being the wicket keeper in many games - something you conveniently forget. Face facts, ZCF: Taylor and Williams are a cut above your darlings. Hami is good on his day, but he also struggles with consistency.

  • MeijiMura on August 23, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    Mangongo could be the final nail in Zimbabwe's cricket coffin. Zimbabwe don't have the playing depth to continually disenfranchise their best players. One day there will be nothing left as all the best players would have been driven away. On its present course Zimbabwe has no future in world cricket.

  • on August 23, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    Wish the Indian coach had done the same thing to a Virat Kohli or a Pujara. That would have sent out the right message- to the players, as well as the fans, that non performance is not tolerated.