Onus on Zimbabwe batsmen against Tahir-less South Africa



Brendan Taylor hasn’t hit peak form, and his run has reflected in Zimbabwe’s poor show with the bat © AFP

15 wickets at an average of 7.6. That’s what Imran Tahir has done to Zimbabwe on this limited-overs tour. Unsurprisingly, the visitors find themselves without a win in four games so far: blanked 0-3 in the ODIs, and trailing 0-1 in the T20Is. When they have tried to rebuild, Tahir yanked the base off from underneath. When they have tried to punch back, Tahir has punched harder.

But now, Zimbabwe might fancy a little celebratory run towards Potchefstroom for their must-win game with the news of the leg-spinner’s release from the squad. South Africa want to get a good look at the other bowlers, Tabraiz Shamsi in all probability, and how he falls into their limited-overs plans, thereby offering Zimbabwe the slightest of glimmers.

Zimbabwe have often lacked inspiration with the bat on this tour, with repeated failures from experienced batsmen being a major contributing factor. The likes of Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor haven’t found their feet, let alone carrying the burden of a faltering unit. Their record of six straight losses this year doesn’t inspire much confidence either. Who knows, Tahir’s absence may provide that extra lift.

South Africa won’t mind a bit more fight. Their bowling attack, which is largely inexperienced, had it relatively easy in the first T20I, barring a brief assault from Peter Moor. Something they would also be eager to fix is their batting, which hasn’t been at its fluent best.

Where: South Africa vs Zimbabwe, 2nd T20I, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom

When: Friday, October 9, 6pm local

What to expect: Generally, there’s extra pace and bounce in the Highveld, which is reflected in Shamsi being the lone spinner in South Africa’s squad. The evening temperatures are expected to be amicable with no rain expected.

Team News:

South Africa: The hosts will look to replace Imran Tahir with either Dane Paterson or Robert Frylinck to complete their bowling attack. Also, JP Duminy and Reeza Hendricks were rested in the previous match, so it will be interesting to see if South Africa look to bring them back in place of a couple of the other senior batsmen. Rassie van der Dussen and Gihahn Cloete had contrasting debuts in the first T20I, and are expected to play all three games.

Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Gihahn Cloete, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller/JP Duminy, Heinrich Klaasen, Robert Frylinck/Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Junior Dala, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi

Zimbabwe: Solomon Mire had a good tri-series against Australia and Pakistan and could be back at the top of the order with Hamilton Masakadza at three.

Probable XI: Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza(c), Brendan Taylor(w), Tarisai Musakanda, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Brandon Mavuta, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chisoro, Chris Mpofu

© Cricbuzz


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