News24 Wire
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3 minute read
18 Mar 2020
2:49 pm

Dolphins unearth a gem in Roelofsen

News24 Wire

Yet the domestic One-day Cup's leading run-scorer only started opening the batting out of, well, necessity.

Dolphins opener Grant Roelofsen will no doubt be itching to play in the One-Day Cup final against the Lions on the reserve say on Friday, following Thursday's washout.

While the world desperately grapples with slowing down the coronavirus, Dolphins batting star Grant Roelofsen wants to steam ahead after the stellar season he enjoyed.

In his first full season of franchise cricket, he has become a mainstay at the top of the order and his versatility to open the batting in red ball cricket and white ball cricket as well as keep wicket in fifty over cricket has been a revelation.

This season he racked up 575 runs in seven first class games at an average of 44 which included three hundreds and one fifty.

His three centuries was the most by any player in the competition.

In fifty over cricket he finished the One Day Cup as the competition’s leading run scorer with 588 runs in ten innings at an average of 65, which included a swashbuckling, unbeaten 147.

Despite the relative ease he has shown at the top of the order, the former KES pupil admits he had adapt in the position out of necessity.

“I knew that opening the batting was my route into the side,” the 23 year-old said.

“There was a slight fear of the unknown I guess, but I was just really excited to play and I knew that opening the batting would get me an extended run.

“Although I hadn’t opened before when I trained it helped my mindset change and it gave me a taste of what I needed to do so I felt prepared.”

From SA Schools, to SA Under 19, to semi-professional cricket to franchise cricket, it has been a patient journey.

“If you had told me before the season that this is how I would have performed I would have been happy with that.

“I don’t think I blew it out the water at all and I set high standards for myself,” he added candidly.

“I want to go all the way and be one of the best in the world and I feel that if I keep following this path and train hard and play well then I can do that.”

The Dolphins side experienced a fairly drastic upturn in results when the new year dawned, winning two of their three Four-day Franchise Series matches and won seven of their ten One-day Cup clashes.

Roelofsen proved instrumental.

“People tell you that it is a step up but I think the biggest change is how much more demanding it is than semi-professional cricket,” he said.

“Travelling every week takes it out of you and the demands physically and mentally are also things that you learn to deal with along the way.

“I don’t think I was as prepared for the demands of the travel as I could have been.”

Roelofsen is in the unique position that he is a wicket keeper and an opening batsman.

In the longer version of the game he feels it’s going to take its toll but he will fill any role that the team needs him to.

“To keep wicket and opening the batting in four-day cricket is really demanding physically and mentally and I don’t think that I quite committed one hundred percent to either which is a problem,” he said.

“In fifty over cricket I commit fully to both roles because the demands aren’t quite as high but I haven’t made any decisions about my keeping and will have to chat to the coaches about that going forward.”

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