Volts to use last two games as springboard

Otago is done but not done trying.

The Volts have no shot at making the Super Smash playoffs.

They slipped out of the running early and have managed only one win the seven completed games.

They play Auckland at Eden Park Outer Oval today and complete the round-robin with a match against Canterbury on January 23.

The only available role left is spoiler. But there is also pride to play for and coach Dion Ebrahim is hoping to use the performances as a springboard for the one-day tournament.

Otago is in third place in the Ford Trophy with two wins from four games.

The top two teams progress to a straight final and that is now where the Volts’ coloured clothing ambitions rest this season.

"We’ve discussed our philosophy around the these last few games and it is an opportunity to potentially bring in some younger players," Ebrahim said.

"But what we’ve decided as a team is we want to make sure we are still picking the best team available to us to allow us to push for wins, but also to allow our players to get some confidence going into the Ford

"And also we want to right some of the wrongs during the campaign. There is still a lot to play for."

The Volts have not been able to select its best team for today’s game.

All-rounder Josh Finnie is still struggling with concussion symptoms and it is unclear when he will return.

"He is making very slow progress. It has been a case of one step forward and two back."

Seamer Matt Bacon has a wrist injury and has been replaced in the side by Jake Gibson.

He picked up the injury while diving to field the ball during the eight-wicket loss to Wellington at the Basin Reserve last week.

Fill-in opener Josh Tasman-Jones is unavailable and his spot has been taken by Dale Phillips, who returns following some time off to attend the birth of his first child.

Mark Chapman and Ross ter Braak return for Auckland and replace Cole Briggs and Danru Ferns.

Veteran Aces opener Martin Guptill suffered a calf tear last week and is in a race to be fit in time for the Black Caps tour of Australia later this month.

Super Smash

Auckland, 2.40pm

Otago: Hamish Rutherford (captain), Dale Phillips, Neil Broom, Nick Kelly, Llew Johnson, Anaru Kitchen, Michael Rippon, Max Chu, Angus McKenzie, Jacob Duffy, Michael Rae, Jake Gibson.

Auckland: George Worker, Glenn Phillips, Sean Solia, Mark Chapman, Graeme Beghin, Robert O’Donnell, Ben Horne, Lockie Ferguson, Will Somerville, Adithya Ashok, Ben Lister, Ross ter Braak.

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