DURBAN - The Dolphins went to Port Elizabeth yesterday, ready to meet the Warriors in their Sunfoil Series encounter at St George’s Park.
After their sixth consecutive draw in the competition, against the Knights, some may have thought that coach Grant Morgan may have changed things around. Instead, the Dolphins have retained the same playing XI, and taken the option of Prenelan Subrayen the off-spinner, in case the strip in Port Elizabeth suggests that it may take turn. Daryn Dupavillon, the young speedster who has been ravaged by serious injuries, is also in the travelling party.
“We are going with the same XI, because I think it is important to have some continuity,” Morgan explained.
“I have never thought it is fair to give guys just one game to show what they can do,” he said of the likes of Kerwin Mungroo, Athi Maposa and debutant Zakariya Paruk.
The likes of Paruk suffered at the hands of a determined Theunis de Bruyn last week, as the Proteas star tore 190 off the Dolphins attack. It was brutal at times, but Morgan sees that as a learning curve.
“De Bruyn is a quality player, and when he is in full flight, he will take any attack apart. The guys were also unlucky at times, and there were balls in the air that landed in open spaces,” he recalled.
“Our attack can nip the ball around and I am hoping that we can improve on our performance last week. I think there might have been some nerves for the guys, but we are going to back them and see what they can come up with down in PE."
Dupavillon has suffered long-term injury frustration, but the Dolphins retain plenty of optimism for the speedster. It is his kind of zip with the ball that has been sorely missed, and they are highly optimistic with a return to top-flight action soon. The fact that he now appears to be weeks, rather than months, away is pleasing for both player and the coach.
“Daryn has a bit of an injury and probably won’t play, but we want him to be back in the mix after such a long time and he can work with the trainer and maybe bowl a bit as well,” the coach added.
The clash today will be played on a fresh strip, next to the one used for the one-day international between South Africa and India on Tuesday. Morgan, a man from Port Elizabeth, said he was banking on a wicket that would produce a result, which is something the Dolphins have been unable to do so far.
“You can really get any kind of wicket there and I definitely see it as a result wicket. The Warriors do have an ability to bowl well against us and with our recent relationship with the Warriors; that gives the game a nice little edge too,” he said.
What Morgan really wants is to do well early in the match, and transfer the pressure onto the home side early. “We can put a lot of pressure on them by getting our batting right in the first innings and we have various ways of getting 20 wickets. But that’s going to be the challenge,” Morgan said.
Dolphins squad: Sarel Erwee, Morne Van Wyk, Vaughn Van Jaarveld, Senuran Muthusamy, Sibonelo Makhanya, Dane Vilas, Keshav Maharaj (captain), Robert Frylinck, Athi Maposa, Kerwin Mungroo, Zakariya Paruk, Daryn Dupavillon, Prenelan Subrayen