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Left-arm seamer Richard Ngarava has been ruled out of Zimbabwe’s two-Test series against Bangladesh after he sustained a groin injury during the third one-day international on Friday. Ngarava, 20, was in line to make his Test debut, but his injury means that Chris Mpofu has been called up as a replacement.
“Ngarava sustained a groin injury and also complained of pain in the gluteal region after our last ODI,” said Zimbabwe national team physiotherapist Anesu Mupotaringa. “Even with aggressive treatment, he will not recover in time for the Test series.”
“Ngarava is part of our plan to deliberately inject youth into the team and he has worked hard on this tour, on the sidelines, readying himself for an opportunity to play,” said Zimbabwe convener of selectors, Walter Chawaguta.
“We had plans to possibly rotate our seamers and rest those who have played all matches since the tour of South Africa and this would have presented an opportunity for Ngarava.”
As part of their preparations for the Test series, the Zimbabweans will take on Bangladesh A in a three-day practice match starting on Monday at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. The first Test begins on 3 November in Sylhet, while the second starts on 11 November in Dhaka.
Chawaguta is confident Mpofu’s experience will prove useful in the series. The 32-year-old seamer has played 15 Test matches since making his debut against Bangladesh in Chittagong in January 2005. He has been on three further tours to Bangladesh since then.
“Mpofu was with the team in the build-up to South Africa and, having toured Bangladesh before, he would know how to quickly adjust to conditions here,” said Chawaguta. “He is very experienced and would give us an opportunity to continue with our set plan of rotating our pace bowling department.”
Zimbabwe suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series against Bangladesh, and Chawaguta said that they would look to make amends in the Tests with the senior players expected to lead the way.
“The team was obviously saddened by our performance in the ODI series and we are looking to make amends during the Test matches,” he said.
“It’s a different ball game demanding a specific set of skills. We have decent Test experience in the squad and are calling on our experienced players to carry the team and show the younger players how to play Test cricket.”