Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Captain's Spin on a Rose Bowl Tester

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Captain's Spin on a Rose Bowl Tester

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

DURHAM think they know what to expect from tomorrow's Twenty20 Cup quarter-final - a worn Rose Bowl pitch and a trial by spin.

Their strategy is much more straightforward - play as many match-winners as you can.

Quite how that will manifest itself remains to be seen, with Michael Di Venuto ruled out by a badly bruised left index finger and Paul Collingwood suffering back spasms in the County Championship draw with Nottinghamshire. One thing is for sure - captain Dale Benkenstein will have plenty of people to turn to if he needs a rabbit pulling out of a hat.

He said: "If you have a lot of matchwinning individuals in the team, generally two of them are going to come off every game,.

"Maybe not the same two, but the key is having that individual ability to win games. If you look at the better teams they are full of match-winning players.

"The shorter the game, the more impact individuals have.

"You need to define roles and the best teams have incredibly good players doing those roles.

"That is what makes them more consistent than other sides.

"If you are relying on only two or three players they are not going to come off every time."

It is why Benkenstein is so pleased to have Stokes available for his first Twenty20 match this season after recovering from a badly dislocated finger. Benkenstein added: "He is a matchwinner and we are getting into one-off games - we have to win.

"It is just a pity he is not bowling because he can be a match-winner.

"He is coming in at not a bad time because some other guys are maybe just starting to feel the strain and he is fairly fresh mentally."

If Collingwood's back is causing him problems, the former South Africa international may even use his most-underrated bowler - himself.

"Yeah, I suppose," he says, reluctant as ever. …

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