‘Dolphins need to maintain momentum against Lions at Wanderers’

2014-10-31 00:00

DOPLHINS coach Lance Klusener has backed his charges for a solid domestic T20 campaign ahead of their opening clash against the Lions at the Wanderers on Sunday.

“Our pre-season tour to India for the Champions League was a massive experience and what we learned there we must now put into practice,” he said yesterday.

“It’s a matter of pitching up on the day and doing things right in a format that’s always a bit of a gamble.”

A solid start to the season sees the Dolphins second on the One-Day Cup log and Klusener hopes the players bring that momentum into the T20 competition.

“We can bring a lot from our One Day Cup performances into this format.

“So far, we have batted well, strung some partnerships together and bowled decently,” he said. “Now it’s a case of maintaining that, but having to do it a bit faster.

“Being the defending Ram Slam champions means nothing as it’s back to the start and having to do it all again.

“Last year is history and doesn’t count anymore,” said Klusener. “It’s a new competition where the margins are small, meaning everyone has a chance.”

With last weekend’s One-Day Cup match against the Cobras washed out, the squad have been fresh ahead of training this week, where fielding skills have been focused on. Former Protea captain Shaun Pollock has also been on hand as a bowling consultant as the Dolphins zone in on an area where they need to improve.

Although overseas signing West Indian Dwayne Bravo misses Sunday’s opening match, Klusener emphasised the experience he would bring to the team.

“He is a quality all-rounder who knows how to play this format. Without David Miller and Kyle Abbott in the mix, Dwayne is the perfect cover for them.

“In this format it helps to include an extra seam bowling all-rounder, like we have in Robbie Frylinck. In 50-over games, an extra batsman is mostly needed, whereas in T20, we can play with batting and seam bowling options.”

Klusener added that he respected the Lions, who were always strong on home turf.

“It’s a tough assignment, but I want people to expect the Dolphins to win,” he said. “We have that expectation and have to do the dirty work, the basics, to ensure we make a go of things.”

The coach said he had a full squad to choose from, including having Sibonelo Makhanya and Jonathan Vandiar back from injury.

“Getting off to a good start in this format is key and that’s our obvious game plan.

“It helps not having to play catch-up and points in the bag is handy for us, especially when the weather plays such a massive part in our campaign,” said Klusener.

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