Dolphins not sold on ‘supersubs’

2010-11-02 00:00

THE use of substitutes in the MTN40 may be creating a new dimension for spectators, but two wise heads within the Dolphins ranks are concerned about the impact that the “supersub” will have on aspiring all-rounders in South African cricket.

Overseas star Ravi Bopara, who has slipped happily into Durban life with the Dolphins, said yesterday that he was not a fan of the system.

“It kind of diminishes the role of the all-rounder, doesn’t it?” he offered.

“And it also creates a situation where specialist bowlers are hardly batting in matches.

“I mean, if you look at that game between Pakistan and South Africa the other day.

“Abdul Razzaq played brilliantly, but he needed the tail to hold up an end,” Bopara continued.

“So if guys are not batting regularly, what happens when they make the step up to international cricket,” he said.

Bopara also remarked that limited-overs cricket was designed with all-rounders in mind, but that culture will be lost with the use of the substitute.

Indeed, the Dolphins whisked Glen Addicott and Loots Bosman off during Friday’s excellent win over the Cape Cobras, and put on the spin duo of Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi.

Coach Graham Ford echoed his import’s remarks, but also admitted that the system has worked in the Dolphins’ favour.

“Look, it is obviously a concern for me, because the all-rounder has a big role to play in cricket.

“But on the same token, we were able to bat a long way down, and then stick on two wrist-spinners when we took to the field,” he noted.

Ford also pointed out that indications are that other franchises are also relying less on traditional all-rounders, and instead focusing on seeing how far they can stretch their resources.

“When you see young guys who do a bit of both suddenly sidelined, then you have to be a bit worried. But those are the rules at the moment and we have to play by them.

Bopara, meanwhile, revealed that he is loving life by the sea.

When The Witness finally got a word with the top-order batsman, he was still recovering from a gym session alongside fitness fanatic Addicott.

“That probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do on a Monday,” he puffed.

“But it’s good for me,” he added, shifting into slightly more serious mode.

“It’s a great bunch of lads down here, and they are all so keen to work on their games,” he observed.

While relatively young himself (25), the Essex run-machine has embraced his role as a mentor to the burgeoning batting talents housed at Kingsmead.

Ford explained that it was exactly why Bopara had been roped in.

“When you have a dressing-room full of youngsters, you need a few wise heads to pass on their experience,” he said.

That point was illustrated on Friday night when Cameron Delport and Addicott, especially, thrived in the company of the wise old heads.

Bopara, who had a prime view as Addicott smashed ten sixes all over Kingsmead, was excited about the Dolphins’ prospects.

“Gosh, he can hit a ball, can’t he?” he said of Addicott.

“That’s what you need in this format, guys who can hit a long ball, and he and Cam [Delport] played very well on Friday night,” he said.

Of course, Bopara didn’t do too badly himself, with his 80 off 82 balls providing the relative calm to Addicott’s chaos on the other end.

“I wanted to take my time to get in and get used to the wicket,” he explained.

“I knew that I would make it up if I stayed at the crease, and I enjoyed my knock out there.”

The Dolphins will be hoping for more of the same tomorrow night, when the Lions visit Kingsmead.

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