Fast-tracked into the Zimbabwean Test side at the age of 18, Elton Chigumbura did not perform well on debut with scores of 14 and 0, but he scalped the important wicket of Mahela Jayawardena. His Test career was rather short-lived, as Zimbabwe was barred from Tests in 2005, the year after Chigumbura made his debut.
With Zimbabwe still participating in ODIs, Chigumbura has gained experience in the shorter form of the game and has proven himself to be one of the shining stars of a side that seems to be in a periodic state of flux. He is an aggressive batsman, demonstrated by his big hitting. He normally bats in the middle order and places his innings to perfection. The ability to clear the fence easily makes him a dangerous prospect for any opposition in the death overs. Chigumbura has also proved to be a more-than-useful pace bowler and though he gives away runs, he has this uncanny knack of picking up wickets at regular intervals. The all-rounder from Kwekwe is known to be nimble in the field and has a safe pair of hands.
With the increasing politicization of Zimbabwean cricket and the sacking or retirement of many experienced players, the team performed poorly over several years. Never a strong team, in recent years, even wins against minnow nations were not guaranteed. It was in these state of affairs that Chigumbura was entrusted with captaincy in 2010. But, after a dismal show at the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, the captaincy changed hands as Chigumbura was replaced with Brendan Taylor, a move that signaled Zimbabwe's return to Test cricket in the same year to face Bangladesh at home.