Durban – The Dolphins will get their 2019/2020 season underway with a CSA 4-Day Franchise Series clash against the Titans at SuperSport Park, Centurion from Monday.
The Dolphins have a new coach in the form of former opening batsman Imraan Khan and the side has put emphasis on improving their red ball cricket record this season.
The Titans have been a side that have historically done well in red ball cricket, however Khan believes that his side have done the hard yards in the lead into the season as is ready to hit the ground running.
“The boys have trained incredibly hard in the off-season and looking forward to getting the season underway,” coach Khan said.
“It’s going to be a tough start against the Titans. They are a good side and well organized team but we are more than confident in our ability and we have prepared really well for the season.
“We have got some really exciting players in our side and I am expecting an entertaining clash.”
Khan will make his debut has a head coach at franchise level next week, however he isn’t too concerned about that and wants the players to be as prepared as possible.
“It’s more excitement than anything else at the moment because a lot of work has been done by the guys during the winter.
“Now it is about the guys going out there and executing the plans that we have put in place,” Khan added.
Khaya Zondo had a long off season with the SA ‘A’ side in India and has only recently returned to the Dolphins. With some valuable experience in the sub-continent under his belt, Zondo is excited for the new era for the Dolphins.
“There are things that we want to change in our four-day approach so that we can improve on previous seasons.
“We have a fresh coaching staff with fresh ideas and I think that will definitely help me as a captain. They will be giving me different pointers and different perspectives in situations where we can win or flip games into our favour.”
The Dolphins will welcome back Daryn Dupavillon to their red ball side after he made a strong return to the Dolphins in the One Day Cup last season.
To have that added option of out-and-out pace is something that both coach and captain are looking forward to.
With last season’s leading wicket-taker for the Dolphins Eathan Bosch as well as Andile Phehlukwayo and spin from Prenelan Subrayen, the Dolphins have the majority of their bases covered.
Marques Ackerman was a revelation for the Dolphins last season and will move into a crucial role in the top order with a lot of responsibility resting on his shoulders to continue the form he showed.
With Sarel Erwee still returning from injury, wicket-keeper Grant Roelofsen will fill the role of opening batsman with the experienced Vaughn van Jaarsveld.
The middle order will be marshalled by captain Zondo, Cody Chetty, Sibz Makhanaya and Phehlukwayo.