Dolphins await challenge

2014-09-17 00:00

HAVING arrived safely in India for the Champions League, the Dolphins are knuckling down to the tough task ahead.

They are one of 10 teams hoping to hold the trophy aloft, but there are some mighty hurdles to climb, including group matches against 2014 IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, KFC Big Bash champions Perth Scorchers and two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings.

It took two days of travelling to arrive in India, the Dolphins setting up camp in Chandigarh, having departed on Sunday. Once settled, the team had to attend anti-corruption meetings, press conferences, photo-shoots and finally a practise at the PCA ground.

After the long flight and the various meetings, the team welcomed the chance to get on the field in preparation for Saturday’s opening clash against the Scorchers. Today, a warm-up hit has been scheduled against a local team and coach Lance Klusener and captain Morne van Wyk have maintained a positive and balanced atmosphere in the ranks.

Currently, all looks good with everyone fit and raring to go. Daryn Dupavilon has a slight hand injury which should not hamper his availability. The young speedster is keen to see what he can extract from the sub-continent pitches.

A newcomer to the senior team, Dupavillon made his debut last season and was rewarded with a full contract this time around for the 2014/15 season. Before departing for India, he was sporting a pencil moustache, “Until I take my first limited-overs wicket,” he said. He should be clean-shaven on his return.

The usual tediums of travelling — such as passports mislaid and kit gone astray — have been forthcoming, but thanks to a competent support team and local acumen, all has been resolved without extra pressure on the players.

David Miller, who opted to turn out for the Kings XI Punjab — his team are not in the same group as the Dolphins — will be missed in the Dolphins middle-order, but he has hooked up with his franchise team-mates, no doubt filling them in on the intricacies of the Indian pitches, stadiums and spectators.

It has been aptly put the Dolphins outfit screams team more than stars, something which could count in their favour, allowing them to be an unknown quantity as they go about their business. It is a testing environment and without expecting too much, let us be proud they are part of the Champions League; deserve to be there and will take one match at a time, without unnecessary pressure from us die-hard fans back home.

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