CAPE TOWN: Rory Kleinveldt will take over the leadership reins at the Cape Cobras for their all-important Momentum One-Day Cup semi-final against the Dolphins at Newlands on Wednesday.
The Cobras have lost the services of their inspirational skipper JP Duminy to the national team for the limited-overs series' against India, leaving Kleinveldt to take on the armband from his former Plumstead High school mate.
“It is a massive blow to lose JP. He has been huge for us,” Cobras coach Ashwell Prince told Independent Media. “But Rors is the natural successor. He has been very instrumental in our road to the playoffs, and not just in terms of his bowling, but also in regards to our team meetings and support for JP on the field.”
Duminy’s unavailability has left Prince with a few selection conundrums though. Not only is Duminy the captain, but he is classy top-order batsman with the second most runs in the Cobras team and is also a useful off-spinner.
The leaves the Cobras needing to possibly fill two holes in their line-up.
“JP is not just the captain, but a batsman and bowler too. He bowled his 10 overs last week against the Warriors for just over 30 runs, that is not easily replaceable,” Prince said.
“But that’s what you prepare players for throughout the season to be ready for these types of situations. It is no doubt going to be an interesting week with tough choices to be made, but it is the business end of the competition and any player wants to be involved at this stage.”
The Dolphins will also be without their regular captain Khaya Zondo after the middle-order batsman received a surprise call-up to the national team. Imran Tahir will join Zondo at the Proteas, although the East Coast side will have Test left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj back in their ranks for the playoff at Newlands.