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Kirsten out to turn up the Heat

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"We know that in T20 cricket these games are often down to very narrow margins and require good thinking to get across the line”

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UNDER the astute leadership of coach Gary Kirsten, the Durban Heat will be looking to swing the pendulum in their favour in the Mzansi Super League which kicks off tomorrow.

The former SA opening batsman is widely considered as one of the most dynamic coaches of modern cricket and is best noted for having guided India to World Cup glory in 2011. With this record under his belt, Kirsten will be a huge factor for the KwaZulu-Natal outfit this season. One of his challenges will be to work on motivating the players following a disastrous show last term where they won only three out of 10 matches, finishing at the bottom of the table.

Kirsten told Independent Media during the Heat’s open day yesterday that the squad had just returned from a team-building exercise at the Drakensberg where they engaged in mountain biking.

He believes such initiatives will help to develop a positive spirit which could prove highly beneficial to the team.

The team is laden with experience and talent in the form of the Proteas bowling all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, hard-hitting batsman David Miller, spin star Keshav Maharaj, Khaya Zondo and former England batsman Alex Hales.

“I’m very excited with the squad. We have a lot of experience in the team and have guys who have played a lot of T20 cricket throughout the world. We know that in T20 cricket these games are often down to very narrow margins and require good thinking to get across the line,” said Kirsten.

The Heat will play their first game of the 2019 Mzansi Super League against the Tshwane Spartans at the HollywoodBets Kingsmead Stadium on Saturday.

The Spartans will be no easy opponents. Coached by Proteas legend Mark Boucher, they boast the likes of AB de Villiers, Heinrich Klaasen and Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who is familiar with Durban conditions as a former Dolphins player. The Spartans also boast a formidable bowling unit with Proteas Lutho Sipamla, Morné Morkel, Lungi Ngidi and former South African, Netherlands all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe.