ANI Photo | Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran set to make SA20 debuts in high-octane DSG-MI Cape Town clash

Kingsmead in Durban will play host to two of the biggest T20 stars in the world when Durban’s Super Giants and MI Cape Town clash in SA20 season two on Thursday.
Nicholas Pooran will be in the DSG corner and will go head-to-head against his legendary Trinidad and Tobago compatriot, Kieron Pollard, who will captain MI Cape Town.
Pooran has been prolific in T20 franchise tournaments all around the world for the past 12 months and will be looking to set Kingsmead alight.
In typical Caribbean fashion, Pooran was modest about his achievements and was just eager to make a positive impact on his new team in a format of the game he particularly enjoys.
“First of all, I am not a superstar. I just want to continue what I have been doing for the last couple of years, which is being consistent and helping my teammates perform,” Pooran said in a SA20 press release.
“I am a T20 specialist… the fans come out and watch T20 cricket. I have gone down that route. I think T20s are wonderful. Not only players but fans are attracted to T20 cricket.”
Pooran is certainly enjoying Durban’s tropical climate, while former DSG captain Quinton de Kock has taken him under his wing.
“It is similar to home; it is beautiful. The guys have been really welcoming. Quinny tells me the conditions are beautiful to bat. The guys keep telling me about the atmosphere so I am keen to see the fans come out and hopefully we can put up a wonderful show (against MI Cape Town),” he said.
Pollard, meanwhile, is hoping to help MI Cape Town deliver a better showing than in the inaugural SA20 season last year.
“I am coming in to try and make a difference; obviously, from a team perspective, we did not do as well as we thought we should have [last season]. I just want to come and give the fans something to cheer about,” Pollard said.
Pooran, however, is determined to see DSG maintain their winning record at home over MI Cape Town after clinching a last-over thriller last season at Kingsmead.
“The coaching staff has done their homework. The first year was a learning experience, not only for our franchise but for all the others as well. Every team wants to win this tournament and I know personally that tournaments are not easy to win. There is a lot of planning and we have some different strategies this season so hopefully it works for us and we bring the title to Durban,” he said.
“They (MI Cape Town) have a lot of good players but it is the game on the day. It is all about execution. Bat versus ball, simple as that. Whoever can hold their nerve for as long as possible will obviously have a better chance of winning. We are ready and looking forward to the challenge,” he added.
MI Cape Town has, though, tapped into the local knowledge of “hometown” boy Grant Roelofsen.
Roelofsen plays his domestic cricket at Kingsmead and would have shared plenty of tactical information with his MI Cape Town teammates.
“I am obviously playing for a different team, but it is still my home ground. So, it is good to be back. I would like to think that some people will still be on my side. I am excited to run out for MI Cape Town,” Roelofson said.
“Our squad has left no stone unturned. With me being the local boy, they have tapped into my knowledge, having played here for a while now.”
MI Cape Town have been hit by a couple of injuries in the build-up to this opening game, with West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard taking over the captaincy duties from Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, while Sri Lankan seamer Nuwan Thushara has replaced England’s Jofra Archer.
Durban Super Giants: Keshav Maharaj (captain), Quinton de Kock, Prenelan Subrayen, Kyle Mayers, Naveen-ul-Haq, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Reece Topley, Jon-Jon Smuts, Dwaine Pretorius, Keemo Paul, Tony de Zorzi, Heinrich Klaassen, Wiaan Mulder, Noor Ahmad, Matthew Breeztke, Junior Dala, Bryce Parsons, Jason Smith, Nicholas Pooran.
MI Cape Town: Kieron Pollard (captain), Kagiso Rabada, Dewald Brevis, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Rashid Khan, Tom Banton, Rassie van der Dussen, Delano Potgieter, Ryan Rickelton, George Linde, Beuran Hendricks, Duan Jansen, Olly Stone, Grant Roelofsen, Nuwan Thushara, Chris Benjamin, Nealan van Heerden, Thomas Kaber, Connor Esterhuizen. (ANI)

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