Seamers still focus; Muller likely to miss out

Call it a bowl-off.

Or perhaps a trial.

Either way, Otago coach Rob Walter hopes to test out "a few" seamers during the next week.

The Volts have two contract spots to fill and they might both go to bowlers.

"We’re on the hunt for some bowlers and we will look at our own guys and those that are interested from outside and then make a call," Walter said.

"There will be a few guys that will come down next week to do some bowling.

"And obviously we have the advantage of looking at some footage of those that are interested."

Walter appears to have ruled out North East Valley seamer Travis Muller. Muller has been a standout at club level and has performed well for Otago A and the Volts when called upon.

But the South African-born right-armer is considered a qualifying player and Otago already has two of them in Michael Rippon and Dean Foxcroft.

"His status will probably rule him out of a contract just because we obviously need to strengthen our depth with someone who can play at any stage and not just in certain circumstances.

"Obviously, I feel for Travis because he is doing all the right things.

"But unfortunately, one piece of the puzzle is missing at the moment."

Another who could fall into the unlucky category is opening batsman Camden Hawkins.

The 25-year-old right-hander was contracted last season but missed out on a spot in the first round of contract offers.

"We wanted to give ourselves some breathing room, should we be able to attract some bowling talent," Walter said.

"It is not about other batsmen taking his place, it’s really about the bowling, so he will be in the mix, certainly."

The last two contracted spots are expected to be made public either later this month or early next month.

Otago has been back training for a couple of weeks. There is one noticeable absence, however.

Foxcroft is in South Africa but Walter is confident the all-rounder will be able to return in time to take up his contract, which begins on September 1.

"I still feel there is quite a bit of time in between him having to get back and where we are now.

"We are still pretty confident he’ll get back but what we are planning is the most likely possibility that he will have to go into quarantine for a couple of weeks first."

 

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