The Dolphins have made three changes to their 13-man squad ahead of their vital RAM Slam T20 Challenge clash with the Knights at St. George‘s Park in Port Elizabeth at 14:00 on Saturday, November 28.
Since the departure of Kevin Pietersen and Kyle Abbott and the ruling out of Prenelan Subrayen, the Durban unit have struggled to replicate the success they enjoyed during their first four fixtures of this year’s competition and will be hoping to turn that around come Saturday.
“Without making excuses, losing the top wicket taker, top runs scorer and the best death bowler in the country in a week has been quite tough,” said head coach Lance Klusener.
“We need to get that belief back that we can win and we need to find out how to win with this different combination.
“That has been something that we haven’t done (since losing those three players) but maybe a freshen up (to the squad) will do that,” he added.
With their batting order having performed below par since the departure of the Pietersen at the halfway stage of the competition, the Durban franchise have turned to Jonathan Vandiar to help get their top order back on track.
“We’ve made some poor shot selections, certainly when we played here (in Durban against the Titans) and then some poor thinking as well,” said Klusener.
“Let’s have a look and see what Johnny (Vandiar) can do.
“He’s got a good reputation, made his name in one day cricket and has been hitting the ball reasonably well in the Amateur team so let’s see what he’s got.”
Proteas sensation and Dolphins middle order batsman David Miller has enjoyed a return to form personally of late leading to some suggesting the left hander was the ideal candidate to fill the void left by Pietersen’s departure.
Miller is however fully focused on his role in the team and converting his recent efforts with the bat into success for the team in coming weeks.
“It has been nice to get some runs on the board again,” said Miller. “I’m actually really enjoying my game, enjoying my cricket.”
“I’m not feeling the pressure, my job is a little bit different to KP’s. Obviously I’ve got to still score runs but (my job) is to try control the middle order and at the end of the day, win games for the Dolphins and that’s what I want to try do in the next two games and then in the semi-final and final.”
The other two changes come in the bowling department with the inclusion of paceman Rabian Engelbrecht and KZN Inland standout performer, left arm orthodox Kyle Nipper.
“(We probably get) a little bit more pace from Rabian (Engelbrecht), who is a youngster, so let’s have a look and then in PE double spin can maybe work for us so that’s where Nipper comes in.
“(Nipper) gives us a little bit more extra batting as well, which we probably need.”
Despite a pre-season focus on the side’s fielding, this discipline has been another concern for Klusener throughout the competition and hopes Saturday will be a turning point here too.
“The fielding has let us down, we can’t hide from that.
“This is a way better fielding side – especially with Nipper there.”
Morne van Wyk (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Cameron Delport, Rabian Engelbrecht, Keshav Maharaj, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Ayavuya Myoli, Kyle Nipper, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Jonathan Vandiar, Khaya Zondo