Ballance poised to make Test return with Zimbabwe

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Gary Ballance

Former England batsman Gary Ballance is set to make his Test debut for Zimbabwe after he was named in the Chevrons’ 16-man squad ahead of their two-match against the West Indies which gets underway at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Saturday.

The 33-year-old left-handed batter – who made 23 Test appearances for England between 2013 and 2017 – has already played three times for Zimbabwe in the Twenty20 and One Day International (ODI) formats.

Balance notched a half-century in an ODI defeat to Ireland at Harare Sports Club last month.

He is now set to make another step in rebuilding his international career when he lines up for Zimbabwe in red ball cricket in the two-match Test series against the Windies that commences in Bulawayo on Saturday.

If selected it would be Ballance’s first Test since July in 2017, when he contributed scores of 27 and four for England during the second Test against South Africa in Nottingham.

Craig Ervine will captain the Zimbabwe Test side in the absence of Sean Williams

There is no spot for all-rounders Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl in Zimbabwe’s squad with the duo away playing franchise cricket, while Craig Ervine will fill in for the injured Sean Williams as captain.

Experienced pacers Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani also miss out due to injury, with uncapped quintet of Bradley Evans, Tafadzwa Tsiga, Joylord Gumbie, Kudzai Maunze and Tanunurwa Makoni all in line for a Test debut should they win selection in the final XI.

The first Test against the West Indies will be held at the Queens Sports Club from February 4, with the second and final Test at the same venue from February 12.

Zimbabwe squad: Gary Ballance, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine (c), Bradley Evans, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Tanunurwa Makoni, Wellington Masakadza, Kudzai Maunze, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Tafadzwa Tsiga.

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