Gary Ballance named in Zimbabwe's squad for West Indies Tests
Former England batter Gary Ballance has been named in Zimbabwe's 16-member Test squad for the upcoming two-match Test series home versus West Indies, starting February 4. The southpaw, who made 23 Test appearances for England, is in line to play his first Test for his country of birth. After switching to Zimbabwe, he has already made three white-ball appearances. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- Ballance was born in Zimbabwe only and was initially expected to serve his birth country.
- He even represented the Zimbabwe U-19 team in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup.
- However, to pursue his career, he migrated to England and served the Three Lions.
- As he had been out of the national team since 2015, the 33-year-old decided to move back to Zimbabwe.
How has he fared in Tests?
Ballance, who made his international debut in September 2013, played 23 Tests for the Brits. He scored 1,498 in the longest format at 37.45. The tally includes four tons and seven fifties. Balance last played for England in July 2017, when he contributed scores of 27 and 4 for England during the second Test against South Africa in Nottingham.
His overall stats in First-Class cricket
Meanwhile, Ballance was a prolific run-scorer for his County side Yorkshire in domestic cricket. So far, he has scored 11,876 runs in 170 First-Class games at 47.31 (50s: 55, 100s: 41). Meanwhile, Balance made his Zimbabwe debut in the recent white-ball series against Ireland. While the southpaw scored 30 in one T20I, he smoked 23 and 52 in the ODI series.
Craig Ervine to lead Zimbabwe
As Sean Williams will miss the series due to an injury, Craig Ervine has been named the captain. Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl have been omitted with the duo being away playing franchise cricket. Veteran pacers Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani also miss out due to injuries. Tafadzwa Tsiga, Joylord Gumbie, Kudzai Maunze, and Tanunurwa Makoni are in line to make their Test debuts.
Zimbabwe squad for West Indies Tests
Zimbabwe squad for West Indies Tests: Gary Ballance, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine (Captain), Bradley Evans, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Tanunurwa Makoni, Wellington Masakadza, Kudzai Maunze, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Tafadzwa Tsiga.