Change of gear and mindset for Dolphins ahead of four-day clashes

2012-12-11 00:00

DOLPHINS skipper Daryn Smit was on the golf course yesterday, “taking a break from cricket” ahead of practice tomorrow.

Having put the Momentum One-day Cup debacle in “File 13” after failing to reach the playoff after losing to the Warriors on Friday, Smit was preparing to change course and focus on the four-day format of the game. This ahead of meeting the Knights in Bloemfontein from December 20 to 23.

“We need to switch on again and I think getting back into the four-day frame of mind is what the players need,” the captain said.

“The pressure of limited overs cricket takes its toll and the four-day stuff allows the players to settle and work on areas of their game without worrying about run-rates, powerplays and irresponsible decisions with bat and ball.”

Sitting in fourth place on the Sunfoil Series log after four matches, the Dolphins are looking forward to bagging a few wins and at least spending up to four days in the middle, something the rainy weather has denied them.

Said Smit: “We need to realise we are playing a completely different game and tune ourselves mentally for the challenge.

“Believing we can win is paramount and we must employ our strategies and front up to four days of tough cricket.

“No quarter must be given and we must start winning matches to restore pride within ourselves, Dolphins cricket and our loyal fans.”

Uncertain of whether any players from the three-day provincial squad would be drafted into the team, Smit said the spirit among the senior players was positive.

“There are some of us who need to up our game and work on our form with bat and ball,” he said.

“I personally need some runs after finishing badly in the one-day games, but I am not too concerned as far as my form goes.

“Batting at three, I was more often than not in early and trying to see off the new ball.

“I got some great deliveries and the odd dicey decision, but I am hitting the ball cleanly and will probably move down the order for the four-day matches.”

Smit acknowledged that the highly talented David Miller needed to use the four-day matches to “feed his confidence”.

Said Smit: “Yes, he has been a bit up and down and failed to really dominate and change a match, but he has class, ability and potential. He needs runs and a lengthy time in the middle.

“In my opinion, it’s better to graft and battle, score some ugly runs to break through the levels of uncertainty than make a fluid hundred which sets the bar too high from the outset …”

After playing the Knights, the Dolphins return to Kingsmead to meet the Titans (December 27 to 30) and the Lions (January 3 to 6).

“I hesitate to say we are over the worst of the rain and am confident of getting playing time and fighting for a result in the upcoming matches,” added Smit.

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