Injury worries for Zimbabwe ahead of New Zealand

Bulawayo: Zimbabwe go into their one-off Test against New Zealand with injury doubts hanging over wicket keeper-batsman Tatenda Taibu and all-rounder Elton Chigumbura.

Losing either player would throw the balance of the Zimbabwe side out of kilter and so the hosts will wait until Monday to finalise their 15-man squad.

Taibu played as a specialist batsman in Zimbabwe`s 2-1 series defeat in the recently concluded one-day series as he battles a long-standing finger problem, while Chigumbura is nursing a knee injury.

Zimbabwe have beaten Bangladesh and lost to Pakistan since returning to Test cricket in August following an absence of more than five years from five-day cricket, and will be hoping to end their home season on a high.

"New Zealand are a quality side but we feel we have a bowling attack that can make inroads into their line-up," said Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor.

"Daniel Vettori`s arrival is a big boost for them, but we`ll look to bat long and if we can take the game deep into day five then anything can happen."

Left-arm spinner Vettori skipped the limited overs matches after announcing that he would take a break from the shorter forms of the game.

Taylor scored 310 runs in the one-day series - a record aggregate for a three-match series - and will hope to produce the same form in the Test match.

The hosts could hand a Test debut to Malcolm Waller, whose 99 not out in the third one-day international allowed Zimbabwe to complete their highest ever run chase, as they achieved a target of 329 in a dramatic finale.


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