Fighting talk by Dolphins

2014-09-19 00:00

LAST week, the Dolphins showcased their contracted players for the 2014/15 season, ahead of departing to India for the Champions League.

At the same function, coach Lance Klusener, who has agreed to another two-year contract with the franchise, said the Dolphins are focused on attempting to win every domestic trophy on offer in that time.

Having finally called on Kingsmead’s maintenance staff to erect a trophy shelf last season when the Ram Slam T20 silverware was secured, Klusener has achieved his goal of showcasing something for his efforts.

It’s fair to say it probably saved him his job in the coach’s chair, and it’s encouraging to hear some fighting talk coming from the camp after so many years of being the proverbial whipping boys of SA domestic cricket.

True, it’s a brave statement. A big statement, but it shows how Klusener and his support team have changed gears and put their foot on the pedal. He may have arrived feeling like he was driving a mini as such, but now it’s time to get on the starting line with the rest of the big boys, rev the engine and show how he has upgraded to the big time.

Obviously defending the T20 trophy is paramount, but there is also the four-day series and one-day cup competition to consider.

Trying to win all three is a tall order and it’s fair to say that the Dolphins, in many instances, have the short end of the stick when it comes to dealing with the weather. Playing cricket in Durban in November and December is risky business and the past two seasons tell their own sad tale of abandoned matches and the sharing of points when rain had the final say.

Sometimes it has saved the team, sometimes it has curve-balled their progress. Whatever the weather does, it ruins their assault on whatever competition is being played and all too soon they are out of the running, well behind the leaders, who have managed to fit in largely uninterrupted matches.

Nothing can be done about it, but it is worth considering when summing up the Dolphins and how they fare through the season. Another encouraging aspect in the Dolphin camp was seeing a batch of talented youngsters given contracts for the season. Daryn Dupavillon, Sibonelo Makhanya and Andile Phelu­kwayo are bright, keen faces, and the next generation to enhance the brand and badge.

Dupavillon, a right-arm quick, made his senior Dolphins debut last season in a four-day match against the Warriors in Durban, where he claimed 5-43 in the first innings on his way to the man-of-the-match award.

He looks the part and generates pace and bounce. With Kyle Abbott, he could be the spearhead of the Dolphins attack this season, with a large workload looming, especially when Abbott is on Protea duty and with the departure of Mthokosizi Shezi to the Cobras.

Makhanya and Phelukwayo are green but enthusiastic, soaking up every opportunity and all the advice coming their way. They may get limited chances this season, but in a set-up involving Klusener and captain Morné van Wyk, two very astute cricket brains, they can only develop and march on in the right direction.

Let’s pray to the weather controllers to allow the Dolphins to get some decent game time when they play in Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the coming months. The rumblings are there, now it’s time to shake the foundations.

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