New coach, new captain

2012-07-13 00:00

Klusener, who served as the team’s interim coach towards the end of last season, has been appointed on a two-year contract, with an option for a third year.

One of his first big decisions will be the new skipper for the under-performing Dolphins.

Wicketkeeper Daryn Smit, the vice-captain, is almost certain to be promoted, which will be a fine first step from Klusener as Smit has proved to be a hard-working, dedicated cricketer.

Smit has also shown himself to be a proactive leader on the few occasions he has captained the team, which is an important asset for a Dolphins team who are looking to find ways to win matches.

Klusener admitted that his biggest challenge was convincing the squad that they were good enough to win trophies.

The coach said: “I think the talent is there, but I don’t think that the belief is there as to how good they really are. There is no reason why we can’t compete. I think people are just happy to go through the motions, and we need to come out of our comfort zones if we are going to win anything.

“My job is to teach them how to finish games off. They got themselves into some good positions last year, especially in four-day cricket, but then didn’t know how to finish it off.

“I think that is the challenge; it is a mental thing in getting the guys believing [in their ability].”

He indicated his desire to make use of former Dolphins’ stars Jonty Rhodes, Shaun Pollock, Pat Symcox, HD Ackerman and Dale Benkenstein as part-time consultants to help the players with specialist training.

“They are local guys. They are guys that have played for the Dolphins and know what that means and they are on our doorstep,” he explained.

The Dolphins squad had better prepare themselves for a tough pre-season as Klusener made no secret of the fact that he believed a winning team would come about only if the players trained hard.

“I’d like to change a few things in terms of our practice and our approach. I would like to be a bit bolder in our approach, particularly in four-day cricket, and achieve results that way. We have been doing the same things over the last few years and achieving the same results.

“We need to make sure that the boys are fitter and stronger to last a six-month season. Training will become a lot tougher, which will allow us to be prepared for the way that we want to play,” he said.

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