Without talismanic skipper Keshav Maharaj, Dolphins off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen will take over the leadership duties for the One Day Cup top of the table clash with the Lions at Kingsmead Stadium on Thursday.
Maharaj is in the current Proteas squad for the One Day International Series with Australia and then will also be part of the touring squad to India later this month which rules him out until the final, should the Dolphins qualify.
The Dolphins are four points clear of the Lions on the log and this game is the first of two that the sides will play against each other over the next eight days. The results from those two games should determine who will finish top of the log going into the semi-finals.
Assistant coach of the Dolphins Quinton Friend believes the side won’t miss a beat despite the loss of their skipper for the rest of the competition.
“Prenelan has been very good for the Dolphins in white ball cricket for a long, long time and he is very experienced,” Friend said. “He has been bowling well this season and we feel he has the attributes to lead the side well and the team has brought into his appointment.
“He is well respected in the group and we think he will do the job really well.”
The Lions have got a game in hand over the Dolphins and have the same record in the competition as the Dolphins with only one loss on their card so far. This game will be vital in setting up the log for the final few rounds.
“We are going to have to be on point in this one and make sure that we have all of our bases well covered.
“Preparation has been good and we know what is coming our way. We are really looking forward to the clash and obviously it is going to be a big one in the context of the competition.
“The priority for us is to take it game by game but we obviously are looking to finish in that top spot on the log.”
The players got a well-deserved break considering they had a week’s break between fixtures and Friend is happy with that little bit of respite.
“We gave the guys Friday and Saturday off last week to have a bit of a rest,” he added. “Then some guys played club cricket on Sunday because we wanted them to get some game time while others rested.
“The guys have come into the game refreshed for the big on against the Lions on Thursday evening.”
Cody Chetty could get his first run in the competition with Maharaj out of the side while seamer Keith Dudgeon returns to the squad for Thursday’s all-important clash.