Volts keen to get new man on the park
World-class Twenty20 exponent Ryan ten Doeschate will arrive in the country this morning but Otago Volts coach Vaughn Johnson says it's touch and go whether he will line up tomorrow night against the Northern Knights in a HRV Cup fixture in Hamilton.
The Dutch international, who travels around the world competing in various Twenty20 competitions, has been signed to try to help the Volts win New Zealand's HRV Cup and in turn book a lucrative ticket to the Champions League competition.
Ten Doeschate's inclusion in the Volts' setup is a timely one, with one of their frontline all-rounders and key hitters, Jimmy Neesham, away with the New Zealand Twenty20 team in South Africa.
The 32-year-old import is an experienced Twenty20 player with 145 domestic matches around the world in the shortened format under his belt.
He will provide the Volts with a good hitting exponent as well as a handy option with the ball.
Johnson had the task of picking up ten Doeschate from Auckland Airport this morning and said he would talk with him then about whether he would be up to fronting tomorrow night after a long haul from South Africa.
"He's going to be pretty knackered but we'll make a call on Friday night," Johnson said.
It would be a surprise if the Volts didn't roll an even half-jaded ten Doeschate out in Hamilton, given the importance of the game and the holes they need to fill.
It will be the Volts second game in the HRV Cup competition and it will also be their second against the Northern Knights.
The Volts let a golden opportunity slip against the Knights six weeks ago which started with the ball and was followed up by what Johnson described as "tentative" batting.
Bowling first, the Volts had the Knights at four for 42 from 7.1 overs on the back of some impressive bowling from Jacob Duffy.
However, captain Derek de Boorder released the pressure somewhat when he chucked the ball to part-timer Neil Broom who went for 23 off one over which gave Northern some much-needed momentum.
English imports Steven Croft and James Foster put on 126 for the Knights' fifth wicket as they got through to 174.
The problem for the Volts is that first Twenty20 game has been followed by four four-day Plunket Shield games, restricting their Twenty20 preparations.
Johnson admitted the transition from four-day games to the shortest format hadn't been a great one and they hadn't been able to schedule any internal games.
"We haven't been able to do any of that, simply because we've played [four] four-day games; we haven't had the chance to get the white ball out too much," Johnson said.
Following tomorrow night's game, the red ball will be back out for the Volts as they travel back to Dunedin to prepare for another Plunket Shield game against Central Districts which will start on Monday.
With de Boorder also in South Africa with the New Zealand Twenty20 team, Sam Wells has been given the Volts' captaincy duties.
Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Ryan ten Doeschate, Neil Broom, Michael Bracewell, Sam Wells (captain), Mark Craig, Ian Butler, Neil Wagner, Nick Beard, Jacob Duffy, Iain Robertson, James Fuller.
The Southland Times