Format focus shift for Dolphins


After losing the T20 Challenge final this past weekend, the Dolphins had little time to dwell on the disappointment as they now open their MODC campaign against the Cape Cobras at Kingsmead on Thursday.

Falling victim to a rampant Titans side in the T20 Challenge finale was a bitter pill for the Dolphins men, and coach Grant Morgan knows that his side were hugely disappointed by their showing but have the chance to battle for another title in the 50 over format starting this week.

“Let’s not look past the facts here, we have to bounce back from a massive disappointment,” the coach said.

“We’ve had a heart-to-heart talk among ourselves and we know we have to achieve a lot between now and our match on Thursday.

“We will line up our template on Wednesday, analyse the opposition and do our last bit of preparation before the game.

“I think our skill levels are up to scratch so I don’t think it’s about practice at the moment.”

With such a rapid change around in competitions means a change in approach and personnel and captain Khaya Zondo is on top of these changes.

“There are a few things that we will need to take into consideration with the change in format but I don’t think a lot changes tactically. We just have to make sure we execute our plans for longer periods.”

With the Proteas having announced their squad for the upcoming test match against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day, Zondo is expecting some teams to come into their own in the 50 over competition.

“There is definitely going to be a different look and feel to most of the teams with the Proteas starting their summer.

“Some teams are going to get weaker but some teams might be able to compete more with the Proteas not being around,” Zondo added.

The Dolphins will go into the Momentum One Day Cup without the services of Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo and Imran Tahir which offers opportunities for younger players to stake a claim in the starting eleven.

Maharaj and Phehlukwayo will join the Proteas for the upcoming Day/Night Test against Zimbabwe while Tahir is out with an injury.

“I think that we have players in form and other options that can fill the gaps left by Andile, Keshav and Imran.

“We are going to miss them, of course, but it is exciting for other players to get a chance,” Morgan commented.

The Dolphins lead the One Day Cup for large portions last season before falling away at the end of the competition so getting back to the top early is vital for Zondo and his chargers.

“Starting well is key, obviously,” he said.

“The results that we achieve now are going to set the tone for the new year. If we win these two games then we take a lot of pressure of ourselves next year.

“Guys should be ready and want to start well especially after our performance in the T20 final.”

DOLPHINS SQUAD: Morne Van Wyk, Sarel Erwee, Vaughn Van Jaarsveld, Dane Vilas, Khaya Zondo, Sibonelo Makhanaya, Senuran Muthusamy, Cody Chetty, Calvin Cavage, Robbie Frylinck, Prenelan Subrayen, Smanga Nhlebela, Athi Maposa, Mthokozisi Shezi.