Ryder coming right could dash Volts' chances
Otago Volts coach Vaughn Johnson acknowledges Jesse Ryder is "due" but has trust in his team's plans against the world-class left-hander.
The Volts will today play Wellington in a Ford Trophy one-day game at Queens Park in Invercargill and they will attempt to contain a Wellington batting lineup which has averaged an astonishing 316 runs in each of their 50 overs at bat in their first three outings in the competition.
They have produced scores of 349, 292 and 319 and included has been two scores from Michael Papps in excess of 150.
The Wellington batting lineup was regarded a one-man show in the twenty20 format, with everything centring on what Ryder produced as to whether the team from the capital would win or not.
In the 50-over format to date he's chipped in with scores of four, one and 25, far from what he traditionally pumps out in domestic cricket.
Johnson knows the mini-form slump is not going to last for ever but is keen for Ryder to refuel his season today.
"He's due isn't he," the Volts coach told The Southland Times yesterday.
"We've been reasonably successful to him in the past and, you know, he's got a new place to come to and he's got to adapt to the conditions.
"He's obviously a threat; Jesse's a quality player but hopefully we'll get him cheaply."
While the Wellington batting lineup has been on fire despite the limited Ryder input, the other component to their game has struggled on the batting friendly Basin Reserve pitch.
Their only win came when they chased down Otago's 348 in round one while in the other two games the bowlers have leaked 302 runs and 321 to lose to the Central Stags and Auckland Aces.
It looms as a must win fixture today for both Otago and Wellington.
Otago will have to attempt to grab the competition points without all-rounder Ian Butler, who has been called into the New Zealand squad for the first test against England starting in Dunedin today.
He replaces Doug Bracewell in the setup and Johnson hoped his charge would get a shot at playing.
"He's had a great season and he's held our bowling attack together really, so he fully justifies and deserves selection, and I just hope they make the right decision and play him."
Butler's omission from the Volts team will be offset by the return of Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham who were part of the New Zealand XI team which beat England in Queenstown last week.
Johnson said the Queens Park pitch had played well on Sunday against Northern and he expected more of the same today.
"It was okay. It always plays better than it looks but I think Coops [groundsman Kevin Cooper] has done a good job; it's not a quick wicket but it's even," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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