'Dolphins do know how to win'
Opener Divan van Wyk does not buy into the idea that the Sunfoil Dolphins have forgotten how to win four-day cricket games, instead saying they have not been in enough winnable positions to challenge opponents.
The Durban franchise has won just five first-class ties over the past four seasons, which has spanned a total of 40 matches.
It is a poor return for one of the country’s former powerhouses of the game and meant they finished bottom of the log in three out of those campaigns, including last year when they won just once.
With the Dolphins due to open the new Sunfoil Series season against the bizhub Highveld Lions on September 27, Van Wyk is confident the trend is about to change.
“I wouldn’t say we forgot how to win, I don’t think we were in enough situations to win,” he told supersport.com. “We’re working on that (winning games) during pre-season, we would like to win competitions too this season, as every other franchise would.
“I sense there is a different vibe around and I’m quite confident we’ll win a trophy this season.”
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His new-found belief seems to stem from the fact that there is a new coach and captain at the helm at Kingsmead, where former star player Lance Klusener is the new boss and wicketkeeper Daryn Smit is the new skipper.
“Lance is bringing a lot of pride to Dolphins cricket and that has created a lot of positive energy around the squad,” the 27-year-old said. “I think all of us have really enjoyed that.
“I’m from Bloemfontein and for me coming from a traditional school, having somebody who’s really focused on things like pride and honour, I’m really enjoying that aspect.
“Obviously with Smity coming in as captain, it’s sort of a refresher for all of us with that change. He really drives the team and leads from the front, so that’s been pretty good.”
Van Wyk, the brother of veteran Chevrolet Knights and Proteas wicketkeeper, Morne, was the top scorer for the franchise last year after collecting an aggregate of 669 runs.
He admits that the target for the season is to improve on that, force his way into the one-day and Twenty20 sides and also win a trophy.
He added: “I’m feeling very good and very confident about my game after a really enjoyable pre-season. I’d like to reach certain milestones regarding the amount of runs that I’d like to achieve.
“Personally, like every other professional cricket, I’d like to be in a winning team. So I’d be happy to have at least one trophy in the cabinet come the end of the season.”