Mpofu replaces injured Ngarawa for Bangladesh Tests
Christopher Mpofu.(Getty Image)

Christopher Mpofu will replace Richard Ngarawa in Zimbabwe’s Test squad against Bangladesh after the left-arm seamer was ruled out of the series. Ngarawa, 28, sustained a groin injury during the third ODI on Friday, and will be replaced by 32-year-old Mpofu.

“Ngarava sustained a groin injury and also complained of pain in the gluteal region after our last ODI,” said Zimbabwe national team physiotherapist Anesu Mupotaringa. “Even with aggressive treatment, he will not recover in time for the Test series.”

Ngarawa has played nine ODIs taking eight wickets for Zimbabwe and was likely in line to make his Test debut on November 3. Mpofu, his replacement, however, is much more experienced having played 80 ODIs and 15 Tests, taking 88 and 29 wickets in the formats respectively. He last played a Test for Zimbabwe in December 2017 against South Africa in Port Elizabeth, where he took three wickets.

“Ngarava is part of our plan to deliberately inject youth into the team and he has worked hard on this tour, on the sidelines, readying himself for an opportunity to play,” said Zimbabwe convener of selectors, Walter Chawaguta. “We had plans to possibly rotate our seamers and rest those who have played all matches since the tour of South Africa and this would have presented an opportunity for Ngarava.”

Before the first Test in Sylhet, the Zimbabweans will play a three-day practice match against Bangladesh A at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Choudhury Stadium. Chawaguta believes Zimbabwe will benefit from Mpofu’s 13-year-long experience at the international level.

“Mpofu was with the team in the build-up to South Africa and, having toured Bangladesh before, he would know how to quickly adjust to conditions here,” said Chawaguta. “He is very experienced and would give us an opportunity to continue with our set plan of rotating our pace bowling department.”