Jesse Ryder may be dispatching balls to all corners of
the park but to Otago coach Vaughn Johnson he is just another
The Ryder show rolls into Dunedin tomorrow as Wellington
comes to face Otago at the University Oval.
Otago switches into fulltime twenty/20 mode for the next
month and starts by facing the most destructive batsman in
The Volts have played two twenty/20 matches, with a win and a
loss, and Johnson said it would be good to be able to
concentrate fulltime on the shortest version of the game.
''It is hard going from four-day cricket to twenty/20 cricket
and then going back to four-day cricket. At least now, a good
thing is we have a run of eight games where we are just
playing the one form of cricket,'' Johnson said.
Wellington has won two of three games, with Ryder almost
directly responsible for both those victories.
But he is not getting any special attention from Otago.
''They are a team of 11 players in their side and he is only
one of them. We have to prepare for the whole side. They have
a couple of quality imports who can be dangerous. They are a
quality side but I have been saying it all season - we just
have to worry about how we play.''
Otago showed some pleasing form last Friday night with a good
win over Northern Districts in Hamilton.
Johnson said players stood up and made key plays.
''I think we may have taken them a bit by surprise. There was
a lot of talk about the players we lost to the New Zealand
side. And that is true but we had a couple of quality players
come in who really stood up.''
Import Ryan ten Doeschate has quickly made his mark for Otago
and was an impressive performer in the victory last Friday
''He is a good all-round guy who is really enhancing and
making an impression with the young players. We are confident
he will do the job.''
Young all-rounder James Fuller, who is using his British
passport to play county cricket for Gloucestershire, is
another player who had made the most of his chance.
Batsman Hamish Rutherford and spinner Mark Craig are both in
doubt for tomorrow's game with hand injuries.
They would be assessed today on their availability but
Johnson said it was hard to tell their chances of playing as
both had soft tissue injuries. Otago has named 13, with Blair
Soper coming into the squad for South African-bound Neil
Wagner Otago was hampered by the weather when it finished
fourth last year in the twenty/20 competition, and Johnson is
hoping fine weather will enable his side to show its wares.
With the Black Caps away in South Africa for the tournament,
the likes of Ryder and Otago players such as Aaron Redmond
and Rutherford may become the keys.
Imports will have a big part to play and Otago looks as
though it has struck the jackpot with ten Doeschate.
After tomorrow's game, Otago will enjoy Christmas before
taking on Canterbury in Timaru on December 27.
Otago v Wellington
University Oval, tomorrow, 2pm
Otago: Sam Wells (c), Nick Beard, Michael Bracewell,
Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Mark Craig, Ryan ten Doeschate, Jacob
Duffy, James Fuller, Aaron Redmond, Iain Robertson, Hamish
Rutherford, Blair Soper.
Wellington: Grant Elliott (c), Jesse Ryder, Tamim
Iqbal, Chris Woakes, Scott Kuggeleijn, Dane Hutchinson,
Michael Papps, Michael Pollard, Luke Ronchi, Luke Woodcock,
Mark Houghton, Harry Boam.