MOUNTAINEERS Team of the Week: Brent and Mawoyo cast an eye over their ones to watch this season

In the last installment of our Team of the Week feature from Zimbabwe we look again at The Mountaineers, one of five franchises competing in the three Zim domestic competitions. Who better to cast their expert eye over the players to keep an eye on this season than the coach and captain?

We’ve been told this week that Zimbabwe cricket is getting stronger on a domestic level and the country has never struggled to produce talent. So who should we be looking at on Zimbabwe scorecards.

Here Gary and Tino give us their steer…

Kevin Kasuza

Brent: We have a very exciting young guy in Kevin Kasuza. He burst onto the scene, not last year but the season before and had a great season for us. Then he had a bit of a second season syndrome last year where people worked him out a bit. But I was lucky enough to coach the Zimbabwe Academy over the winter and he was part of that.

He’s done a tremendous amount of work so I am excited for him and to see his progress this year. He’s certainly someone to watch in the squad.

Mawoyo: Kevin is maturing into a confident and explosive top order batsman. He’s had a stint with the national academy over the last three months. We look forward to more dominating innings from him this season.

Natsai M’shangwe

Brent: Natsai is a leg-spinner who is in the national squad now. I rate him, and also off-spinner Tapiwa Mafudza, very highly. I’m pretty certain that in the near future they’ll be wearing red for the national side.

Mawoyo: Natsai is another up and coming cricketer who you definitely need to keep and eye out for. He’s a talented leg-spinner and has earned a few national caps on the back of several good seasons for us at Mountaineers.

Chatara and Mawoyo brave the January cold at Heathrow Airport in the UK before jetting off somewhere sunnier!

Tendai Chatara

Mawoyo: He’s been the backbone of our seam attack since the introduction of franchise cricket four seasons ago. He’s matured into a reliable strike bowler for us. He performed extremely well in our recent home series against Pakistan, and is definitely one to be watched this season.

Tino also moved to squash any rumours that Tendai Chatara would be leaving the Mountaineers to take up a role with an opposition franchise. He admitted there is interested in the paceman, but was insistent he is going nowhere else.

At World Cricket Badger we’d like to thank Gary and Tino for their help this week. They have both been excellent and we wish them well for the months ahead.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

2 thoughts on “MOUNTAINEERS Team of the Week: Brent and Mawoyo cast an eye over their ones to watch this season

  1. Kasuza had a purple patch 2 seasons ago(2011/12) but was inexplicably overlooked for the national side. Watching Monimul Haque perform for the Bangladesh national side, makes one wonder what might have been if some of the decision makers had shown more bravery. Interestingly Monimul didn’t set the u19 scene alight, and his stats from a weaker domestic competition were until now inferior to Kasuza, but his shortcomings at junior level haven’t made him a substandard batsman several rungs higher. What’s evident is that he was always going to be an aggressive batsman because his List A form has been superb. Like Monimul he seems like a batsman who will have very little trouble with his conversion rate. Having said that I still think the Mashonaland Eagles trio - promising to be the most frightening FC batting order this season alongside Raza,Chigumbura&Chakabva(plus maybe Zhuwawo or Mbofana) - made up of the enterprising Stuart Matsikenyeri, solid Forster Mutizwa plus Chamunorwa Chibhabha(who was across all formats a better batsman last season) are very much next in line now. One keeps while the others provide decent part-time bowling options which we need. Unfortunately he missed that bus earlier but now young Kevin can take his time, deliver for the Goats, and hopefully by 2015 he can be a permanent option at national level. We should have have sifted through and discarded some of the poor seniors by then(although Chris Rogers and now Steve Tikollo have shown that won’t be the end of it).

    I’d like to disagree with Tino when he says Chatara’s been the backbone of the Goats. True, he had that excellent season(2010/11) when he was the most dominant frontline seamer in Zimbabwe by some distance, and we had several top batsmen in the local scene. However, by and large Shingi has carried them because he’s performed in all formats while Chatara hasn’t exactly excelled that much outside FC cricket. The story of the Goats has always been if Shingi performs they do well and if he doesn’t they struggle, which showed last season because he took unusually long to hit his stride(before almost overtaking everyone), hence their season was overall underwhelming.

    Utseya was part of the Goats so they always threw him the ball first up, which limited Mushangwe’s chances. I don’t think he has a clue what to do when the batsmen are on top of him. Even when he’s taking wickets locally he still fetches more than he should for someone most consider our best attacking option at international level(I still think in tandem Maruma can outperform all our spinners). Therfore, it would be counter-productive to add Mufudza because Shingi&Tiripano can successfully bowl all day and tighter, plus Chatara’s shown some stamina lately. They are all more economical than Mushangwe so at the end of the day Tino will invariably find himself pulling Natsai out of the attack for a defensive option, which Mufudza might be. Rather release Mufudza to a franchise that needs a top spinner(Rocks&Tuskers). Mushangwe needs as many overs as possible to mature and hone his bowling.

    Strange responses from Coach&Captain. The three mentioned are somewhat seasoned campaigners now, two of them impressive internationals. Mufudza’s mention makes sense, along with Kasuza who still needs to find consistency and is relatively unknown to us away from live domestic games. However, Sauramba should have dominated talk a bit more. Considering Quinton de Kock’s fatal and pathetic promotion ahead of more accomplished keeper-batsmen for the Proteas, on the contrary I think we can get better results out of this young man if we took a risk in him for the odd T20, especially against the likes of Afghanistan who we may face soon. My brief T20 sighting of him was that convincing. With Lamb out, surely there’s a another young batsman that they have lined up to promote. Nothing mentioned there. Tino? Brent? Are you poaching? Importing(which would be sad)?

    Anyway, thanks to the Badger again. Tuskers next up hopefully? They are looking like my beloved Man United right now. Player&Admin changes, uncertain package threatening to be the wooden spoon candidates with the Rocks if Mpofu doesn’t recover fully. As always they will be somewhere at the top when awards are handed out in the end!

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