Otago Volts may delay Jesse Ryder debut
Otago Volts coach Vaughn Johnson said yesterday star batsman Jesse Ryder is no certainty to play against his old team in the opening Plunket Shield four-day domestic game starting on Sunday.
Otago and Wellington will square off in the captial and hoist the curtain on the 2013/2014 New Zealand summer of cricket.
Much of the talk in the lead-up to the game has centred on Ryder.
Following the 2012/13 season the classy left-handed batsman opted to cut ties with Wellington and head south to Dunedin for a fresh start with the Volts.
However, Johnson said yesterday he was mulling over whether to play Ryder in the first four-day game.
Ryder officially joined his new team on Monday and Johnson was tossing up whether the showdown against Wellington might be a week too early to thrust him into his first game for the Volts.
"Jesse is great and fitted in really well, but he's not guaranteed to head to Wellington, we'll just have to see. It could be a week too early, we'll talk to him about that (today)."
Johnson said he planned to think it over last night and reveal his squad today for the game.
The Volts coach said there were some hard selection decisions to be made around the make-up of the team given soon after the Volts first four-day next week they will head to Christchurch to play Canterbury in a twenty20 fixture.
He said he was pondering leaving some players behind to prepare for the twenty20 showdown instead of them playing a four-day game.
Ryder is one player that falls into that category.
Johnson conceded it had been a difficult preparation for the first Plunket Shield game given they have come from a wealth of twenty20 cricket.
The Volts won the New Zealand HRV Cup twenty20 competition before making a splash in the Indian Champions League, narrowly missing out on the semifinals to eventual winners.
Johnson believed it was easier for players to go straight from twenty20 cricket to the longer form of the game rather than the other way around.
That is why he is weary about potentially hindering the build up to the first twenty20 game by playing some players against Wellington in the four-day game.
The Volts were successful in both formats last season, winning the twenty20 competition and narrowly coming second in the Plunket Shield.
The Ford Trophy one-day form, however, was not so flash - they finished fifth in the six-team competition.
- © Fairfax NZ News