The Dolphins’ batting line-up will be bolstered by the arrival of former England batsman Kevin Pietersen for their clash against the Titans on Sunday.
The 36-year-old was meant to join up with the side after the Proteas’ second Test in Hobart, but thanks to their dominating win, Pietersen could leave his commentating duties one day earlier for training and play in a rehash of last year’s final.
‘It’s great to be involved again, you go away for nine or 10 months and come back and jump right into it like you were here just the other day and that is a sign of feeling comfortable,’ Pietersen said.
‘Seeing how my feet are moving in the nets is the best gauge as to how I am feeling and surprisingly my feet felt really good.
‘I have so much cricket coming up so I would much rather be playing cricket in South Africa than playing golf in Melbourne or Adelaide,’ he added.
The Dolphins have gained some momentum heading into their away leg of the competition with a win against the Lions after a loss to the Warriors in the opening match.
‘We had a really big meeting on Tuesday with the top-six batters. We had to just fine-tune some things and walk the guys through the plan that we wanted to execute,’ coach Grant Morgan said.
‘I think we have got the whole batting unit aligned now and they are in a position where the can play responsibly but also without fear.’
Pietersen was vital to the Dolphins’ road to the final last season, scoring 401 runs in seven innings which included two centuries and two fifties. Morgan believes that he will be a powerful asset for the side and strike some fear into the opposition.
‘To have a player with his aura in your change room is huge for the other players but the pressure that a player like that can transfer from your set-up on to the opposition is also immense,’ Morgan said.
The Dolphins and the Titans are in the first match of the double-header at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Sunday, with the game starting at 10 am.
Dolphins squad: Morné van Wyk (c), Craig Alexander, Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Rabian Engelbrecht, Robbie Frylinck, Mbasa Gqadushe, Kyle Nipper, Kevin Pietersen, Prenelan Subrayen, Mthokozisi Shezi, Imran Tahir, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo