ZIMBABWE national team fast bowler Tinashe Panyangara has recovered from a back injury that kept him out for several months to resume full training to put himself in contention for selection in the squad to face West Indies and Sri Lanka in the triangular cricket series later this month. BY KEVIN MAPASURE
Panyangara last played for Zimbabwe at the World T-20 tournament, but missed both the India limited-overs series and the two Tests against New Zealand, which were played in Harare and Bulawayo respectively.
Tendai Chatara is also part of a contingent of players not involved in the current two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, who have been practising at Country Club ahead of the triangular series.
Panyangara faces a challenge to regain his place in the team, but his availability boosts the selectors’ options even for future matches.
The 31-year-old has taken more Test wickets than any of the players still featuring for Zimbabwe with 31 scalps.
With the emergence of Carl Mumba, who took five wickets in the first Test, Panyangara will have to work his socks off to return into the team.
It is likely that the selectors will stick to the players who had a run during the Pakistan A tour of Zimbabwe.
Panyangara has played nine Tests, 64 one-day internationals and 14 Twenty-20 internationals.
Chatara is a good bet to make the triangular series squad since he played for Zim A during the Pakistan tour.
The 25-year-old was deemed unfit for the Test, but has regained full fitness and is set to lead the line in Zimbabwe’s attack for the limited-overs matches.
Also pushing for a place in the limited-overs squad is former captain Elton Chigumbura, who was left out of the Test squad.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be looking to build on their performance in the first Test when they line up for the second and final one against Sri Lanka starting on Sunday.
The selectors, however, are likely to make some changes to the 11 that played and lost to Sri Lanka by 225 runs.
The hosts showed some resilience with the bat as they threatened to force a draw with some solid batting displays on day five.
Skipper Graeme Cremer and Mumba threatened to break the Sri Lanka hearts in their ninth wicket partnership.
Mumba faced 88 balls for his ten runs, while Cremer, who blamed himself for the defeat despite putting up a man of the match performance after scoring a century and taking four wickets, faced 175 for his 43 runs.
Zimbabwe will take confidence from their success in taking 16 wickets as well as their first innings score of 373 runs.
Peter Moor scored 79 in the first innings, but he will seek a better show behind the stumps if he retains the gloves.