India, expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on 21st July, will send a strong squad for its five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against the hosts; to give the series the zest coach Andrew Waller’s men have been yearning for.
“The India squad is a young side but a very dangerous one; they are the number one team; they have just won the ICC Champions Trophy and are playing very good cricket,” said Mangongo, Zimbabwe’s assistant coach.
“We are happy they are sending such a strong side; this is what we have always wanted — play strong sides and compete against them. They have some uncapped players but considering the difficulty in getting into any Indian side, it means they are all good. The challenge is on us to show the world that we can play cricket.”
Mangongo said he was confident the Zimbabwe squad is strong enough to give a good challenge.
“Our squad was picked after a grueling process and everyone who is in deserved to be. For the first time quality players were dropped, which means we have a lot of guys working hard down there. It’s up to the players brought in now to prove their worth in the team.”
Skipper Virat Kohli captains a 15-men Indian squad that has been submitted to Zimbabwe Cricket while Brendan Taylor will captain the Zimbabwe side.
Zimbabwe has been in camp for a month preparing for this tour, which comes ahead of Pakistan’s visit, and also includes a two Test series.
Zimbabwe and India play the first three ODIs in Harare on July 24, 26, and 28 before travelling to Bulawayo for the final two matches on July 31 and August 3.
Matches are listed below:
Squads for the Tour of Zimbabwe are as follows:
Zimbabwe Squad: Brendan Taylor (captain), Tendai Chatara, Michael Chinouya, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Natsai Mashangwe, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Sikandar Raza, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Parvez Rasool, Shami Ahmed, R Vinay Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma.
On paper and in terms of international exposure, Zimbabwe has more experience.
The hosts have a caps total of 774 compared to India’s 548, but the tourists’ players are exposed to a stronger domestic league which boasts international stars.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor, batters Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza as well as all-rounder Elton Chigumbura and spinner Prosper Utseya all have played more than a century of ODIs.
On the Indian side, stand-in captain Virat Kholi and Suresh Raina are the only two to have more than 100 caps in a squad that has six uncapped players but some of whom have played Tests.
The India squad has a total of 20 ODI centuries with Kholi contributing 13 of those while Zimbabwe has 11 with six coming from Taylor.
Zimbabwe’s squad has picked up more wickets with 258, while India’s side which has more uncapped players’ in the bowling department has 152.
Ravindra Jadeja is India’s highest wicket taker in the squad, with 82, while Prosper Utseya is the highest wicket taker in the hosts’ squad, with 113.
Date: 16 July 2013