Zimbabwe Cricket announces T20I squad for the India series, Sikandar Raza to captain the team

Jul 2, 2024

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Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has officially named their squad for the upcoming five-game T20I series against Team India, scheduled to begin on July 6 in Harare. This series mark an important phase for Zimbabwean cricket as they look to rebuild and improve their standing in international cricket under new head coach Justin Sammons.

Leadership and experience of Sikandar Raza

Experienced cricketer Sikandar Raza has been appointed as the captain of the Zimbabwean team. At 38 years old, Raza brings a wealth of experience to the squad, having played 86 T20I matches. His leadership will be crucial in guiding a relatively young and inexperienced team against the formidable Indian side. Raza’s experience and skill will be pivotal in the middle order and his all-round capabilities add valuable depth to the squad.

Young and promising talent

Zimbabwe have opted for a youthful squad in this series, signaling a new era under coach Sammons. One of the most notable inclusions is Antum Naqvi, a Belgium-born cricketer with Pakistani heritage, whose final inclusion in the squad is subject to the confirmation of his citizenship status. Naqvi’s international journey and desire to represent Zimbabwe have made headlines, and his addition could bring fresh energy and talent to the team.

Zimbabwe Cricket MD Givemore Makoni speaks on Antum Naqvi in The Herald this morning:

“Antum is set to become a Zimbabwe player. He is one new face that has been picked by the selectors and we are happy to have him on the team.

“He brings balance with both bat and ball and the… pic.twitter.com/1Rbpc8uI5o

— Adam Theo🇿🇼🏏 (@AdamTheofilatos) June 27, 2024

Key bowlers

The squad features seasoned pace bowlers Richard Ngarava and Blessing Muzarabani, who have enough T20I appearances under their belt. Their experience will be critical in leading the bowling attack, providing stability, and taking crucial wickets against the strong Indian batting lineup. These bowlers have been instrumental in past performances and will look to leverage their skills to contain the Indian batsmen.

Notable absentees

Veteran players Craig Ervine and Sean Williams have not been considered for selection in this series, which might come as a surprise to many fans. Their absence could be part of a strategic move to infuse new talent into the team. Additionally, players like Ryan Burl, Joylord Gumbie and Ainsley Ndlovu did not make the cut for this series, indicating a significant shift towards a younger squad.

Rebuilding phase

The squad selection reflects Zimbabwe’s intent to rebuild after their disappointing failure to qualify for the recent T20 World Cup. With a mix of experienced players like Raza and Luke Jongwe, who has played 63 T20Is, and young talents, the team is poised to develop a balanced and competitive side. This series against India provides an excellent platform for the younger players to gain invaluable experience and showcase their abilities on the international stage.

Zimbabwe squad for the T20I series against India:

Sikandar Raza (c), Akram Faraz, Bennett Brian, Campbell Johnathan, Chatara Tendai, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Dion Myers, Antum Naqvi (subject to citizenship confirmation), Richard Ngarava, and Milton Shumba.

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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