Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tarisai never saw it coming

BATSMAN Tarisai Musakanda had resigned to waiting a little bit longer for his Twenty20 debut and never in his wildest dreams did he believe that his name would feature on the captaincy debate ahead of the ongoing series between Australia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
And it’s easy to appreciate why this was the case.
Musakanda was deemed not good enough for low pro-life T20 Tri-series featuring Zimbabwe Board XI, Zimbabwe Select and Kenya last month.
He was a reserve member for the Zim Select squad and betting on him making the Chevrons squad when the Aussies and Pakistani came through would have been a no brainer.
Betting on him featuring prominently in the debate over who should be the national T20 captain would have been dismissed as lunacy.
But it all happened in a flash, Musakanda transforming himself from being a reserve player to a Chevrons T20 history maker.
The unavailability of senior players such as Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams gave Musakanda a chance he grabbed with both hands.
Musakanda did the business against Pakistan and he now holds the record for the highest score on international T20 debut (43).
“After all that had happened before I was motivated when I took to the field against Pakistan,” said the batsman who hit a blistering 35-ball 43 on debut.
“I won’t lie I will take that any day looking back at that game.
“Ordinarily I could have played for a half century but against Pakistan I had to play for the team, try to accelerate the run rate and take some risks.”
Musakanda believes the way he forced his way into the T20 series and featured in a captaincy equation that ultimately went Hamilton Masakadza’s way will make him a better player.
“I am learning to take these things as they are given to me,” he said.
“I have got my own story to write and if I am to give a testimony in an autobiography these are some of the things that I will include for the benefit of future players.
“You will never be a great player if you don’t go through certain things, I am really happy it has happened now.”
Musakanda, who is now capped in all three formats of the game with a single Test, 11 ODIs and four T20I said he will embrace national team captaincy if it ever comes his way.
“I have done well in all the games I have led a team and remain keen to lead it if it is given to me. If it doesn’t happen I will still learn from the guy leading the side and some of the guys around me,” he said.
And one who man Musakanda is learning from is close buddy Solomon Mire who scored the country’s highest individual T20 score with a 63-ball 94 in the second match against Pakistan.
“Watching him do that was emotional,” said Musakanda who grew up together with Mire in Kadoma.
“When you know someone’s ability and you are there to drive them it’s just amazing. When I got to the crease I could tell he was pumped up.
“Being on the other side I was happy I was to be the guy motivating him. Trust me there is no better feeling than seeing your mate succeed,” he said.