ZIM v WI, 2nd Test Preview: Rejuvenated Zimbabwe aims to draw level blood in the series

ZIM v WI, 2nd Test Preview: Rejuvenated Zimbabwe aims to draw level blood in the series

For the second and last Test, Windies will have to work hard if they don't want to share the honors with their counterparts.

Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe cricket captain Graeme Cremer celebrates with teammates. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The first Test between Zimbabwe and Windies didn’t provide any flattering result, but the hosts did have their moments where they dominated. They bowled excellently in the first innings but reciprocated with an even disastrous batting rendition. The Windies gained the momentum in the second innings and never looked back.

It wasn’t the most comprehensive performances for Jason Holder’s men, but they’ll take it all day long. It was a challenging game for them as Zimbabwe did pose a serious threat. Right from the outset, the contest was evenly contested before Roston Chase’s exploits with the bat thickened the margin between the sides.

Brendan Taylor’s comeback game was not a quintessentially fairytale one, but he’ll be happy with the way he batted in the second innings. Nevertheless, their top order needs to fire on all cylinders to ensure they can end up with a respectable total. Their bowlers lost their touch in the second innings, but the spinners have been fantastic. For the second and last Test, Windies will have to work hard if they don’t want to share the honours with their counterparts.

Toss: Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat

Zimbabwe (Playing XI): Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Peter Moor, Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, Regis Chakabva(w), Graeme Cremer(c), Tendai Chisoro, Chris Mpofu

Windies (Playing XI): Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich(w), Jason Holder(c), Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel

Focus will be on

Graeme Cremer (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwean skipper Graeme Cremer doesn’t really get the credit he deserves, but he has been exceptional over the last one year. He was instrumental in almost breaking down the Lankan side in their own backyard and now, the wrist spinner picked up 8 wickets in the first Test, which includes some crucial ones at crucial junctures. He always marshalls his troops brilliantly and if he can pull off something spectacular in the second Test, it’ll go down as one of the most memorable in their history.

Roston Chase (Windies)

The Windies are still trying to set up a core side for the longer format and they have one brilliant all-rounder in Roston Chase. In the middle-order, he comes up with crucial contributions, like the one in the second innings of the first Test. With the ball, he’s quite a canny offie who plays mind games with the batsmen. Chase currently is an invaluable asset for his side and he’ll be looking forward to clean sweep his counterparts in the series.

Playing combinations

Zimbabwe

Hamilton Masakadza did a decent job the other game and he will once again open the batting with Solomon Mire. Craig Ervine will come in at 3 with Brendan Taylor taking his number 4 position. With the likes of Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, Regis Chakabva and Graeme Cremer available on their side, they tend to bat deep.

Graeme Cremer was their best bowler in the first Test and giving him good company was Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza in the spin department. Spin will once again be the key to success for both sides. Once again, they’ll go with two frontline seamers in Kyle Jarvis and Mpofu.

Windies

Kraigg Brathwaite has been nurturing beautifully with every game and the youngster will open the batting with Kieran Powell. Kyle Hope needs to contribute a lot more if he wishes to keep up that number 3 spot. In form, Shai Hope will be their mainstay in the middle order, with some other decent batsmen available like Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder.

Shannon Gabriel is a much improved fast bowler currently and he will be sharing the new ball duties with Kemar Roach and the skipper Jason Holder. Roston Chase and Devendra Bishoo will have to bring in their A game to turn the match into their favor.

StatAttack

66 – Roston Chase needs 66 runs to complete 1,000 Test runs.

2 – Devendra Bishoo needs two wickets to complete 100 Test scalps.