Tuesday, 18 October 2011

New Zealand in Zimbabwe, 2011 (Full Coverage)

Preview: Zimbabwe v New Zealand, 2nd T20I;
Playing a competitive match for the first time since the World Cup, New Zealand did not seem to be suffering from any rust as they shed the cobwebs with an emphatic 10 wicket demolition of the hosts in the 1st T20 on Saturday. Ross Taylor began his captaincy stint with a win, but the pain of the loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the other Taylor who had earlier injured himself while attempting a skier of McCullum. It would be hard to think that the result will be any different this time around unless Zimbabwe springs a major surprise less then 48 hours after receiving a severe mauling.
New Zealand: Everything seems to be sailing along smoothly as far as the Black Caps are concerned. They gave a T20 debut for Doug Bracewell and Kane Williamson. Brendon McCullum looked in smashing form while Guptill played the anchor to the 'T'. The rest of the batsmen were not even required to be out in the middle though the team management would have ideally like them to have a stint ahead of serious businesses in the future. The bowling was disciplined and was also helped by the Zimbabwe batsmen's refusal to be a bit more aggressive at the top of the order. New Zealand will hope that the winning form will be sustained.
Zimbabwe: The learning curve has become a lot trickier for the plucky hosts. The muddled batting order has not helped their cause one bit with the lack of a power hitter at the top of the order. Brendan Taylor anchored his way to a half-century but the rest of the top-order frittered away starts. The big hitters like Charles Coventry and Chamu Chigumbura came too low down the order to create any sort of impact. One of these two would ideally need to bat at the top of the order to set a launch pad for a bigger total. The bowlers were set for a hiding to nothing in front of a marauding McCullum, but they would need to do better in terms of their line and lengths if they are to create a flutter in the Kiwi camp.
Team News:

Zimbabwe missed the services of Vusi Sibanda and Tatenda Taibu due to different reasons and would gladly welcome them back. Chibhabha and Regis Chakabva would be the men to miss out. Kyle Jarvis went for plenty and might be replaced by Keegan Meth.

New Zealand have no reason to tinker with the winning line-up unless they want to rest either Jacob Oram or Kyle Mills in which case Graeme Aldridge might make his debut.

When you have been out of cricket for so long, the way we backed up the bowlers in the field was excellent - Ross Taylor is thrilled to have started his captaincy on a winning note. 

New Zealand paceman Tim Southee will miss the one-off test against Zimbabwe after failing to recover from a knee injury suffered while preparing for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India.

Southee was already omitted from the squad for the two Twenty20 and three one-day internationals in Zimbabwe after suffering cartilage damage to his left knee but was named in the squad for the Bulawayo test.

"The latest scans show that the knee... has improved but the injury has not completely gone away," New Zealand national selector manager Kim Littlejohn was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday.

"We are taking a long-term view with Tim's injury and have opted to extend his recovery period rather than rush him back too soon.

"He is expected to be fully fit an available for December's test series against Australia."

Uncapped paceman Graeme Alridge, who is already in the squad for the limited-overs matches, will remain with the side for the test starting on Nov. 1.

The Black Caps will be playing their first series since losing in the World Cup semi-finals in March and under new captain Ross Taylor, who replaced Daniel Vettori.

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