Gary Kirsten England

Former Proteas opener and coach Gary Kirsten is reportedly the favourite to take over as the next England Test coach. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Gary Kirsten relying on bowling attack to carry Durban Heat

Durban Heat coach Gary Kirsten believes bowlers are going to play a significant role on coastal pitches during the Mzansi Super League competition.

Gary Kirsten England

Former Proteas opener and coach Gary Kirsten is reportedly the favourite to take over as the next England Test coach. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Durban Heat coach Gary Kirsten has lauded his side’s bowling attack and is pleased with the number of viable options available to the team ahead of their Mzansi Super League campaign.

Kirsten expecting bowlers to dominate Mzansi Super League

Kirsten was addressing journalists after after finalising his squad following the player draft in Kliptown, Soweto on Tuesday.

“On the slower wickets 150 and 160 scores will be par and then you squeeze with your bowlers,” said Kirsten.

“I think that we have got a good variety in our attack with Daryn Dupavillon, who does offer us some pace. But like any team, the most important thing is that you have options.

“We might go with two seamers and three spinners, we have that option and can go with spin upfront if we need to.

“We have all-rounders and Ravi Bopara bowls well on slow wickets so he is almost like a spinner so we have picked a side that is well suited for the conditions were we will play half our games.”

Gary Kirsten

Durban Heat relying on local flavour

The team for this year’s edition of the competition will see the Durban Heat carry a strong local flavour to it with eight of the 14 players selected hailing from KwaZulu-Natal, while Dane Vilas has spent the past two seasons with the Dolphins.

Englishman Bopara returns to Durban once again following two stints with the Dolphins, firstly back in 2010 and again in the domestic T20 competition in 2013.

With a strong local connection Kirsten, who has coached in T20 leagues around the world, is using this as an important cornerstone for the side.

“People say the key to success is to build a team culture but in the T20 age you don’t have much time,” Kirsten said.

“I think you need to pick match-winners, have a lot of fun, try and build some sort of identity to the region because the fans are so important and build some hype around your home ground.”

Gary Kirsten

Wide variety of options available

The Heat have covered all of their bases with the squad that they have selected with a wide variety in the bowling attack.

They have the right-arm pace of Dupavillon and the left-arm speed of Marco Jansen.

Then there is experienced seam from Kyle Abbott, Andile Phehlukwayo, Malusi Siboto and Ravi Bopara and a left-arm spinner in Keshav Maharaj, an off-spinner in Prenalen Subrayen and the leg-spin of Shaun von Berg.

With that variation in the attack, there should be cover for all conditions, especially at the coastal grounds where the scores might not be as high.

Vilas captained the Jozi Stars to the title in the inaugural MSL last season and will be a crucial cog in the Durban Heat machine with his quick hands behind the stumps and clean striking.

International marquee player Alex Hales, Proteas star David Miller, Sarel Erwee, Khaya Zondo, Wihan Lubbe, Vilas, Bopara and Phehlukwayo will be the men entrusted with scoring the bulk of the runs for the Heat this term.

Durban Heat provisional squad for the Mzansi Super League

The Heat will wait until the end of the upcoming 2019 Provincial T20 Knock-Out before they fill the 15th spot in their squad via a wild card that every franchise has been given.

Durban Heat squad: Andile Phehlukwayo, Alex Hales, David Miller (retained player), Dane Vilas, Ravi Bopara, Keshav Maharaj (retained player), Kyle Abbott (retained player), Khaya Zondo (retained player), Marco Jansen, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee (retained player), Malusi Siboto, Prenelan Subrayen, Wihan Lubbe, Shaun von Berg.

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Herman Gibbs