Kevin Pietersen looks to boost the Dolphins’ chances, as they hunt for a victory against the unbeaten Titans on Wednesday.
Dolphins coach Grant Morgan is hoping his team will finally click in all three departments when they face the high-flying Titans in the T20 Challenge at Kingsmead in Durban.
The hosts may be third on the competition standings, but they have failed to find any real consistency so far and are amongst several teams that find themselves in a similar situation.
Their opponents, however, have had no such problem. They are defending champions, they are flying high with five wins out of six matches – the odd result being a washout – and they boast an almost unassailable 10-point lead at the summit of the table.
‘The Titans game is massive for us, but then again every game is a big game,’ Morgan said.
‘We want that pressure though because if there is pressure, then that means that people expect us to do well, which is exactly what we want.
‘We’ve played one or two poor games so far, there’s no doubt about that, but we’ve also played some brilliant cricket too. The belief is still very much there amongst the squad that if we can perform at 100% across all three disciplines – which we haven’t done yet in this competition – then we can compete with any team.’
The Dolphins have been handed a massive boost with the arrival of former England superstar Kevin Pietersen, who is now available for the duration of the competition.
Also back is Keshav Maharaj, fresh off his debut series for the Proteas in Australia.
Titans coach Mark Boucher is only in his first season of coaching, but he has led them to a commanding position in the 20-over competition. The men from Pretoria also top the four-day Sunfoil Series log.
Their coach has made coaching look fairly easy, although he thinks otherwise.
‘Not at all, I think I have some good players in my side, so that does help,’ he said.
‘The key is when you get on to a winning streak like this and play back-to-back games, you really need to cash in.’
‘The nature of Twenty20 cricket is that if someone plays a special knock, it can win you the game,’ Boucher added.
‘And that one win can easily swing things for you in terms of going on a run and getting back into form. They have a good team and they get KP back for this game, so anything can happen.’
Grant Mokoena has been drafted into the squad in place of Dane Piedt.
Dolphins squad: Morne van Wyk (c), Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Rabian Engelbrecht, Robbie Frylinck, Mbasa Gqadushe, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Nipper, Kevin Pietersen, Mthokozisi Shezi, Prenelan Subrayen, Imran Tahir, Khaya Zondo.
Titans squad: Albie Morkel (captain), Qaasim Adams, Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Heinrich Klaasen, Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram, Grant Mokoena, Lungi Ngidi, Malusi Siboto, Jonathan Vandiar, Shaun von Berg, David Wiese.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix