Opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza is out of the Zimbabwe squad for the second Test match against New Zealand, which begins at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo tomorrow.
The former Zimbabwe captain is nursing a left lower-back strain from the first Test, which ended with a New Zealand win last Sunday.
Masakadza is the only omission in the Zimbabwe squad of 15 from the first Test match.
In comes offspinner John Nyumbu and the 31-year-old will relish returning to the Test stage, moreso at Queens where consistent hard work over recent seasons has seen him rise to become the Matabeleland Tuskers frontline spinner.
Also brimful of hope going into the second and final Test match against the Black Caps is Peter Joseph Moor.
Now 25, PJ – as he is affectionately called – is widely expected to start fulfilling the potential that saw him post the school’s highest individual score of 214 not out as a student at Saint John’s College in Harare and then, as a 16-year-old, making the Zimbabwe squad for the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008 and vice-captain of the squad for the 2010 tournament in New Zealand.
Add to that his membership of a veritable cricket family that has his uncle, father and brother all playing, and PJ will have it all to do should he make his Test debut tomorrow.
The national selectors must have received with huge relief the physiotherapist’s report on the squad because it had fit for selection Chamunorwa Chibhabha and Prince Masvaure, who both missed practice during the week as they were struggling with fever that left them weak and congested.
Also recovering from fever were Regis Chakabva, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams, who have all been certified fit and included in the 15.
Ervine, who made his Test-career highest score of 50, and Williams, who also posted a Test career-best 119 and Zimbabwe’s fastest hundred in that format during the first Test against New Zealand, are both expected to make the team.
Also expected to play is top-order batsman Tinotenda Mawoyo, who has been on treatment and rehabilitation for a right thumb which was hit by a ball while he was batting for the Zimbabwe A team against South Africa A at Queens three weeks ago.