THE Dolphins said goodbye to Wednesday night’s star of the show, David Miller, but welcomed England international Graeme Onions to these shores.
Miller scored an impressive 96 not out that guided the Dolphins to a three wicket win over the Warriors in a Momentum One Day Cup game played in Port Elizabeth.
The lefthander departed for Dubai where he will link up with the Proteas in time to feature in the five-match one-day international series against Pakistan, which starts next Wednesday.
The Durban side are top of the log and are unbeaten in three games, although they needed rain to bail them out of imminent defeat against the Titans at home last Sunday. Onions has travelled with the team to Boland where they will face the Cape Cobras and is expected to lead the bowling attack. This is his second spell at the Dolphins.
“I’m a bit more experienced now than I was when I came here a few years ago,” Onions said. “I will try to do my very best once again to help the team throughout the South African summer. After Wednesday night’s win, I’ve now got to force my way into the team.
“But it is really fantastic to be here.”
The 31-year-old comes to South Africa after a brilliant English County cricket season, where he led the bowling standings with 70 sticks for Durham.
Onions was overlooked for the Ashes return series starting in Brisbane, Australia, in November — a decision that drew surprise from the game’s greats Ian Botham and Shane Warne. Quicker bowlers Boyd Ranking and Chris Tremlett were preferred instead.
The bowler still has aspirations to play for England again and will be allowed to do so by the Dolphins if called up to Australia as an injury replacement or otherwise.
But England’s loss is the Dolphins gain. Although he has played just four one-day internationals for his national team, Onions has grabbed 434 First Class wickets at an average of 25.91 runs per wicket.
He has been signed for the entire South African domestic season, across all formats, but his full value to the Durbanites will be realised in the four-day Sunfoil Series next year.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the England selectors went for the taller guys, they need the extra pace and bounce for the potentially flat Australian pitches,” said Onions.