Khan keen to rekindle form
Sunfoil Dolphins batsman Imraan Khan is determined to get back to his best for the new season ahead and hopes that relinquishing the captaincy duties will aid his mission.
The opener stepped down as skipper of the Durban franchise at the end of last season and has subsequently been replaced by wicketkeeper Daryn Smith.
There is also a new coach at the helm of the KwaZulu-Natal franchise with former Proteas allrounder Lance Klusener now in charge.
Khan topped the overall four-day batting chart in the 2008/09 season with 835 runs, supreme form that helped him win a solitary test cap for his country.
But he struggled the season after with just 408 runs, while the past two terms saw him end first (594 in 2010/11) and second respectively
(652 in 2011/12), although still not enough to feel he was at his best.
“I think I just needed to focus on my own game again, that’s the main reason behind the captaincy issue,” he told supersport.com. “The goal for this year is to try and score as many runs as possible, there is no set target, just getting some scores under my belt and helping the team do well.”
The Dolphins have spent almost their entire pre-season in Durban, trying to put behind them a forgettable 12 months in which they won just a single four-day game, while also struggling in the shorter-format competitions.
“We definitely need to get back into that winning mindset again, that winning mentality,” Khan said. “We’ve worked on it during pre-season and it’s something the coach is big on.
“We’ll have to try and be more aggressive in the way we play four-day cricket this year. There’s not much time left, less than a month now.
“Hopefully that will bring about some positive results and we’ll hit that first game running.”
The 28-year-old also hailed the impact of Klusener, a player that spent his entire domestic playing career in Durban, on the dressing room.
“He’s been brilliant,” Khan added. “He’s a legend of South African cricket, he played the game with great intensity and he’s bringing that into the squad.”