The match between South Africa and Zimbabwe on the Boxing Day will be a first of its kind. It is a day night Test match, but shortened to four days. The players in the team, including the top ones, were not in favor of four-day Test match. Still, the current match will be in the special format test, which even South Africa fans may rescind partially, but not certainly. The verdict will be only at the stadium in Port Elizabeth. South Africa will be playing against India by the new year weak, next month. Keeping this in view, the tournament against Zimbabwe does not align appropriately as an adequate preparation for an adversary like India. South Africa has been through tough times in cricket with losses and internal mismatches.
For Zimbabwe, the test is of more relevance. Owing to a low ebb of cricket in the nation, the team has been devoid of big games. Under conditions, such that, it is difficult for the team even to host a game at home, the tournament with South Africa is more than just a good feat. The condition is expected to improve in coming years. Although developing cricket might not be a priority for a nation that just had its strongest regime overhaul, the game will certainly take a leap on time.
Even with its plights, Zimbabwe managed to keep some of its prowess intact. The team won against Sri Lanka before a couple of months. Now against South Africa, it is with new players who worked fine in domestic circuit. Such a player is Brendan Taylor, who became a prominent name in the squad. Solomon Mire will open the match for Zimbabwe. With Taylor, the batting department will be under players like Hamilton Masakadza and Craig Ervine. The bowling attack will be spearheaded by Graeme Cremer, the captain.
On South Africa’s side, the grass is not that greener. On batting, it would be either of Faf du Plessis or AB de Villiers. It is unlikely, but the players might turn up together as well. Given the form of the team, it is not worrisome at least against Zimbabwe. The batting line up will feature players like Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma, while the bowling attack would have either Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel. Keshav Maharaj will be featured along with Andile Phehlukwayo.
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