Midwest Rhinos medium pacer Mike Chinouya is delighted to have finally made his national cricket team debut in the just-ended home series against reigning world champions India.
By Our Correspondent
At a ripe age of 27, Chinouya featured in the third and fourth matches of the five-match One Day International series.
Although Zimbabwe were whitewashed 5-0, the top Midwest Rhinos player opened his international wickets account by dismissing crack top order batsman Shakir Dhawan for 35, to finish with bowling figures of 1/36 on debut.
Facing the mighty Indians on a stage where the whole world was watching, it was a dream debut for Chinouya, who also took pride in the tourists’ skipper Virat Kohli’s praise of Zimbabwe’s bowlers.
The right arm fast bowler, who had before featured constantly for the Zimbabwe A side, passed new coach Andy Waller’s test for mental strength and aggression, qualities the new gaffer craves for in his squad.
Standardsport caught up with the cricketer, who is currently enjoying a one-week break from national duty at his Kwekwe base.
“Obviously I am overjoyed to have finally made my debut for the national team. Having played for Zimbabwe A for a long time, I was not overawed by the occasion although I was a bit nervous. I just tried to enjoy my game and I did,” said Chinouya.
“It is everybody’s dream to don the national colours and I am grateful to the coaches for the faith they have in me. I am going to try and make a positive impact and win games for the team. Since I kicked off my international career a bit late, my aim is to try to pick as many wickets as possible,” he said.
Now with two ODI appearances under his belt, the bubbly Chinouya shared on how he started his cricket journey.
“Like every other kid growing up, I started playing cricket in the dusty streets of Newtown in Kwekwe, and then took it up seriously at Kwekwe High School when I was in form two. I did not think I would get this far with the sport because I loved soccer and was good at it,” recalled Chinouya.
Chinouya also commented on the national team’s recent poor showing against India.
“The recent results do not reflect the quality in the team. Indeed the standards are up there, and it is just a matter of more game time with the top teams. It has been easier for the bowling department to raise the bar, but it’s just a matter of time before the batting side joins the party,” he said.
Born on the June 9 1986, Chinouya made his first class debut for Midlands in 2004 against Mashonaland, taking 111 wickets in 44 matches to date, including a career best 10/76 in last season’s Logan Cup season opener against Southern Rocks at Masvingo Sports Club.