Injury worries for Kirsten, Durban Heat
The Heat, coached by Gary Kirsten, have yet to start their 2019 Mzansi Super League campaign after their opener against the Tshwane Spartans was washed out last Saturday without a single ball being bowled in Durban.
It has now emerged that the Durban outfit have a couple of injury concerns in their squad which will hamper their plans for a good run to reach the knockout stages of the MSL this season.
The Durban franchise, however, has a balanced side of veterans, youth and players in their prime in addition to the shrewd leadership of Kirsten and skipper Dane Vilas to forge ahead with the available 11 on the day. One of the injury concerns in the squad is right-arm quick bowler Daryn Dupavillion who has an important role to play due to his familiarity with KwaZulu-Natal conditions. Addressing the media at Kingsmead yesterday, Kirsten said the 25-year-old is making steady progress while adding that highly-rated young fast bowler Marco Jansen is another player who is also recovering from a knock.
“He bowled at about 70 percent yesterday which was good news. We have got Jansen who is not fully fit as well. Those two guys will be important components of our selection for each team and the different conditions that we will play on. They are making progress and we do not have a final answer yet as to the availability of both of them for Friday. To have a full squad fit will be great.”
The two English overseas players, Alex Hales and Ravi Bopara, will bring the necessary experience to the Heat line-up. The hard-hitting Hales, who boasts an impressive T20 strike rate of 142, will be looking to use the platform to help him regain his place in the England team that he has not represented since March.
The 34-year-old Bopara is a journeyman of the game. In addition to playing extensively in his native England, the 120-time capped former England ODI player has also had stints in Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand and even previously with the Dolphins in KZN. His experience on different types of surfaces will make him a valuable player for Kirsten’s side, both on and off the field.
Vilas added that both Englishman are adapting well.
“Ravi and Alex have been incredible. Ravi has been here before and is keen to get back. Hales is also now on a journey of T20 Cricket around the world. They are great guys and mix really well. They have been busy. They have been great in the team and practices have been really good.”@EshlinV