Onions jets in

2013-10-25 00:00

GRAHAM Onions has officially landed in Durban, ready to boost the Dolphins bowling ranks in all forms of the game for the coming season.

The English professional, a right-arm medium pace bowler who has played nine Tests for England, was introduced to the media in Durban yesterday, before jetting to Cape Town and hooking up with the team ahead of today’s Momentum One Day Cup meeting with the Cobras, in Paarl.

Onions, discarded by England selectors for the upcoming Ashes in Australia, finished the current English county championships as the leading wicket taker, with 70 to his name, and sees his Dolphins adventure as one to enrich his experience and enhance his game.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to play for the Dolphins. The way they are playing right now, I think I will have to force my way in,” he said. “This opportunity gives me more experience and I will be giving the team 110%, something I take pride in. No matter what I do, I give it my best.”

President of KZNCU, Faeez-el Jaffer summed up the union’s satisfaction with the signing saying, “England’s loss is our gain.”

Besides adding more fire-power to the Dolphins attack, Onions is keen to impart his knowledge and experience to the younger players in the squad.

“I have followed the fortunes of the Dolphins while in England and there are some strong youngsters in the set-up,” said Onions. “Sharing my expertise with them will add to making the team a formidable unit and I am excited to assist in this manner.”

Onions said he still had aspirations to play for England but that rests with selectors. For now, his attention is firmly on the Dolphins.

“The climate here is obviously different to what I am used to and I have not set any targets as to what I would like to achieve,” he said. “Right now, it’s about performing the best I can. My strength is bowling attacking lines, attacking the stumps, skidding the ball through and making the batsmen play. My role is to take wickets and stop the opposition scoring runs.”

Perhaps there is extra pressure on Onions for another reason. Receiving his one-day Dolphins shirt, his number is 69, that of current Dolphins coach Lance Klusener, who has finally given up the number. If he can do with the ball what Klusener did with the bat, the Dolphins will be well set for glory this season.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are riding high after their three-wicket win (D/L method) against the Warriors on Wednesday. The win sees them top of the one-day log with 15 points and they will want to continue their winning ways in today’s match against the Cobras in Paarl.

Craig Alexander hit his straps with his first five-wicket haul in 50 over cricket and although batting hero David Miller (96*) has left the team to join the Protea one-day squad against Pakistan in the UAE, there is enough depth in the squad for a suitable replacement.

Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk was more than happy with his team, saying, “This was another great win and great character was shown after we again lost early wickets up front. This was our third win on the road and bodes well for the Cobras game. As for David [Miller], I am really proud of him and hope he continues his form for the national one-day side.”

Miller, who played a composed innings, only cutting loose in the dying overs of the match, said he was nervous and wasn’t too sure when to put his foot on the pedal. “There was work to be done and batting with Vaughn [van Jaarsveld], gave me the confidence to push on. His 61 was vital in setting up the win. I’m happy to contribute to where the team is right now and hope the boys keep the flag flying in the remaining matches.”

Today’s match starts at 3 pm and is on SuperSport 2.

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