The Cape Cobras will lean on the depth of their squad and their extensive leadership resources as they look to overcome the loss of four players when they take on the Dolphins in Friday’s Momentum One-Day Cup encounter at Kingsmead.
Vernon Philander, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas and Dane Piedt have all left for India ahead of South Africa’s Test series, so Andrew Puttick will take the gloves on his return from illness and Rory Kleinveldt will play his first game of the season.
‘We’ve got the experience of Andrew Puttick coming back after his illness, and Rory Kleinveldt had a great winter season with Northamptonshire,’ said Cobras coach Paul Adams.
‘We gave Rory some time off and he’s ready to show what he’s about. Then we have SA Engelbrecht, Keegan Petersen and Mthokozisi Shezi back in the squad.’
Most sides would struggle with so much disruption ahead of a crucial weekend of fixtures, which also sees the Cobras host the Warriors on Sunday, but Justin Ontong expects a smooth transition.
‘Luckily I’ve got strong characters around me — I lean a lot on Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt has been with us for a while, and Justin Kemp helps out at practices,” said the captain. “So there’s a lot of expertise at practices so it’s not difficult when guys come and go.’
The Dolphins go into the game on the back of a heavy defeat to the Titans on Wednesday, when they failed to adapt after a rain delay shortened the game to 37 overs per side.
In their attempt to set a challenging total, Lance Klusener’s side fell from 130 for three to 171 all out, with their innings lasting just 32.2 overs.
‘We were reasonable up until it rained, and then showed a bit of inexperience — there were a couple of poor shots, and that made for a disaster after that,’ reflected Klusener.
‘I would like to write that off as a poor day at the office and give them the benefit of the doubt.’
As such, Klusener has named an unchanged squad for Friday’s game, which gets underway at 2pm and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Cape Cobras squad: Justin Ontong (capt), Andrew Puttick, Dane Paterson, Keegan Petersen, Lesiba Ngoepe, Mtokozisi Shezi, Omphile Ramela, Richard Levi, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, SA Engelbrecht, Tshepo Moreki, Wayne Parnell