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Cricket | Domestic Cricket

Lance Klusener © Gallo Images

Klusener confident ahead of new season



Dolphins coach Lance Klusener is confident the squad assembled for the new cricket season is capable of winning silverware.

The Durban franchise have performed poorly in recent years, last winning a trophy in 2005/06.

"There's some really good quality in the squad," Klusener said during the season launch on Wednesday.

Among their major recruits for the season were former Proteas wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk, who will captain the team after joining from the Knights, as well as England fast bowler Graham Onions, who has been roped in for the three major competitions.

"Morne van Wyk brings some good captaincy skills, as well as his batting experience," said Klusener.

"Graham Onions is a top quality bowler. And if you marry all the work we've done in pre-season to what we've assembled here, you've got a pretty formidable team. It's just about making sure everyone pitches up and does their job, which is something we haven't been doing in the past."

Last season, Klusener's first full-term as coach, saw steady improvement from previous seasons with the Dolphins ending third in the Sunfoil Series. They finished fifth out of six teams in the two other competitions, the One Day Cup and Twenty20 Challenge.

The format of the new season means they begin with the 50-over tournament this year and play their first game against the Highveld Lions in Potchefstroom on October 13.

"We want to win all three competitions, that's why we're here," Klusener said.

"But that's way up in front. For now we just want to focus on what we need to do day by day. If we can get that right, the rest will take care of itself. I think if we can set the foundations early in the season, we'll have as good a chance as anybody."

The Durbanites made two key off-the-field appointments in former batsman Dale Benkenstein as batting coach and mental coach Christo Spies.

"I think there's fresher ideas with Dale coming in," Klusener said.

"He comes with a load of experience as well as the ability to nurture youngsters.

"We mustn't underestimate the work that Christo has done. We've spent a lot of hours with him and he's helped us with a lot of the mental aspects of the game."

Klusener confirmed Van Wyk would be the No 1 wicketkeeper for the one-day competition, with former gloveman and captain, Daryn Smit, focusing on his batting and improving as a bowler.

"He's [Smit] a very good legspinner and we'll be hoping he can contribute more in that way."

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