Zimbabwe vs New Zealand 1st Test Preview

PICTURE TITLENew Zealand have won all the series so far but yet Zimbabwe would be happy that they won at least 1 of the ODI’s. The test match XI for either team will be different to what you would expect with both teams being hit by injuries. New Zealand are definitely favourites but Zimbabwe have a chance if they can play their best cricket and get their big players contributing.

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Match Information :

November 1 – 5, Bulawayo
Starting Time: 1000 Local Time

How the Teams Stand:

Zimbabwe will have a very youthful XI in this test after they have been struck with plenty of niggles and injuries which will force them to play a less experienced group. Zimbabwe will be happy about chasing down 329 in the 3rd ODI to secure a win but their is still plenty they have to do to win this test. The batting for Zimbabwe is a strength as they are some patient yet powerful players like Sibanda who could do very well against even the best teams in the world. The bowling is the weakness and in tests that is not good news. Ncube and Meth who may debut might have to be that x-factor allowing Zimbabwe to take wickets more often than not as during the ODI series they were always on the backfoot when bowling as New Zealand had such a strong line-up.

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New Zealand will still be happy with their ODI series win against Zimbabwe despite dropping a match. New Zealand’s test record of late is not too impressive and although they haven’t played a test since January earlier this year they haven’t recorded a test win since beating Bangladesh in February 2010. New Zealand currently sit in 8th spot in the test rankings but their players have matured and they should move up although they face Australia in the upcoming months. The batting order is the strength no doubt and will look to attack the Zimbabwe attack who are struggling for self confidence. Daniel Vettori is back for New Zealand which should boost the team despite him not playing a match since the World Cup.

Pitch Report:

The pitch will be helpful to the batsman but either team must take advantage of that to win this test.

Team News:

Kyle Mills and Jesse Ryder are out of this test with injuries which reduced the squad size to 13 and no replacements were called up. Andy Mckay is also out with a stomach bug and if New Zealand decide against playing 2 spinners Jeetah Patel will have to miss out.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (wk), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor (capt), 5 BJ Watling, 6 , 7 Reece Young, 8 Daniel Vettori, 9 Andy McKay/Graeme Aldridge/Doug Bracewell, 10 Andy McKay/Graeme Aldridge/Doug Bracewell , 11 Chris Martin.

Zimbabwe are missing plenty of their match winners for this test; Taibu is out injured and Vitori still hasn’t recovered from a shin injury.

Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Tino Mawoyo, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt), 5 Forster Mutizwa (wk), 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Malcolm Waller, 8 Njabulo Ncube/Keegan Meth, 9 Ray Price, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Chris Mpofu.

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