Dolphins start afresh

2013-10-12 00:00

NEW Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk says he swopped the orange and blue of the Knights after 16 years for the green of the KwaZulu-Natal side because he believes he can help the side reach their potential.

While admitting that the decision to make the 34-year-old Dolphins newcomer the captain was a surprise, including to himself, Van Wyk is hoping it will bear fruit in terms of improved performances from his players.

The Dolphins get their season under way tomorrow when they travel to Potchefstroom for their One Day Cup opener against the Highveld Lions.

“I didn’t really expect the captaincy, but I guess there’s always some fall-out when a team has been unsuccessful and maybe it’s an opportunity to start afresh in terms of the cricket we play,” said Van Wyk.

“I’ll take the captaincy with both hands, it’s certainly something I enjoy and I believe my skills set can get the guys to grow. When I see the players that the Dolphins have got, I think the team should perform much better and I like to think I can contribute to getting them to play to their potential.”

Van Wyk also has news for any critics who think he’s coming to Durban to enjoy an early retirement: the wicketkeeper/batsman who has played 13 ODIs and three T20 internationals for South Africa believes he can still play at the highest level and is determined to produce the performances that will prove it.

“I still want to play for South Africa and if I perform as well as I can and consistently, then I believe I’m good enough to do that,” he said. “I was looking at the SA ‘A’ team while I was injured earlier this year and I was still thinking I want to play there, so that’s a good sign.”

The other positive heading into the season, according to Van Wyk, is the relaxed but focused environment head coach Lance Klusener and his assistant Dale Benkenstein are creating at the Dolphins.

“Since I’ve come to know Lance now as a person and coach, and not just as an opponent on the cricket field, I realise he’s actually quite relaxed and not the most intense coach I’ve worked with by any means,” said Van Wyk. “He doesn’t just throw words around and he wants us to enjoy our cricket more.

“Both Lance and Benky still have that aura that can create a stir in the changeroom because of what they did for Natal cricket, which was a dominant force for so long.”

Hopefully Van Wyk can lead the Dolphins back to the sort of form they showed in the halcyon days of Vince van der Bijl, Barry Richards and Tich Smith in the 1970s and the likes of Klusener, Benkenstein, Shaun Pollock and Jonty Rhodes in the 90s.

The glimmers of hope last season were predominantly in the four-day Sunfoil Series and the Dolphins will obviously have to improve their limited-overs skills.

Van Wyk speaks with the benefit of vast experience when he says: “Sometimes the youngsters just need to learn that there is a lot more time than you think in limited-overs cricket; the problem is they just don’t know how to use it.”

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