Zimbabwe must play more Tests to improve their cricket
Zimbabwe batsmen Malcolm Waller and Sikandar Raza in action against Pakistan during their two-match Test series in September last year. Zimbabwe sent shockwaves across the cricketing world when they defeated a full-strength Pakistani side by 24 runs in the second Test at Harare © AFP
Zimbabwe beat Pakistan in a Test match in 2013. They came close to beating New Zealand in the same year. Since their return to Test cricket, Zimbabwe has looked impressive in patches. Sandipan Banerjee discusses how Zimbabwe should play more often against the top cricketing nations.
Zimbabwe have had three good days against the top-ranked Test team in the world, South Africa, in their one-off game at Harare. It is evident by their performance so far that they should be given more opportunities to play in the longer format of the game by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Zimbabwe have played only 10 Tests since their return to Test cricket in 2011, out of which they have managed to win three, which is not a bad record.
In their comeback Test match in 2011, the Brendan Taylor-led Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by a considerable margin of 130 runs. They beat the same opponent in 2013 with a huge margin of 335 runs in Harare. But the big fish for them was when they upset a strong Pakistan side by 24 runs at Bulawayo in 2013. That was a significant achievement for the African nation. They also came close to winning against New Zealand in 2011 at the same venue, but eventually lost by 34 runs.
Players like Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza, are world class players. Even the young stars like John Nyumbu, Brian Vitori, and Richmond Mutumbami have impressed with their performances, and they seem to have the potential to become useful cricketers . But they will be wasted if they don’t play much Test cricket, and more cricketers from Zimbabwe will take the Kyle Jarvis way, who shifted to England to play more competitive cricket at the highest level.
Zimbabwe has given the world some good cricketers like Andy Flower, Heath Streak, and Ray Price to name a few. Now it’s time for ICC to give them more opportunities against the top cricketing nations like Australia, India, and England. But in the Future Tour Programme(FTP), there is no Test scheduled against any of those nations, which is quite unfortunate for Zimbabwean cricket.
(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)