We sat down with Dynamos Captain Dale Benkenstein as the team prepare to begin their Yorkshire Bank 40 season this Sunday.
The Yorkshire Bank 40 begins for Durham this Sunday. How do you see the season going for the Dynamos this year?
I am really excited for the One-Day season. My career started with One Day cricket so everytime it comes around, it is always exciting for me.
We haven’t had a huge change to our squad and there are no real additions just our original players in the squad improving and getting better with each season. It will be great to see how we have progressed to this season and if each player does continue to improve that little bit more, I believe that is all we need to get into the semi finals and finals, which is obviously where every county wants to be.
Which players in the side do you think will be key to Durham’s success in the 40 over game and players for fans to keep an eye on?
This year so far we seem to be playing more as a team and I think that this is our strength, everybody up until this stage in the season has had added their value to the game.
In One Day cricket our top order batsmen Mark Stoneman and Phillip Mustard are real match winners. We have also focussed a lot more on our bowling, making sure our bowling becomes a match winning factor too. Graham Onions is a key squad member and our spinners Gareth Breese and Scott Borthwick and our maverick, the guy who can change the game with bat and ball will be Ben Stokes.
We are in a pool with last year’s Champions Hampshire and Essex, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Scotland and Surrey. Who do you see being the toughest competition this season?
We have a very tough pool with obviously the champions Hampshire and Lancashire is always a tough side for us but First Division cricket whether 4 day or 1 day is always hard no matter the opponent. It is just going to be how we play those big moments, those pressure moments. I think we have a team to beat anyone and we have proven that over the years and it is just how we handle those big moments in the game that will determine if we end up at the top or fighting again to get into the semi-finals. There will be no easy games but it is about how we play. If we can play more consistent cricket then we will find ourselves pushing for the top spots.
We have Essex first game, who do you see being the players to restrict having an influence on the game for the visitors?
We haven’t played Essex for a while so there is a little bit of unknown there. They have a young ,fast left-arm bowler, Tom Milnes who is getting talked about a bit so he will be a player to watch out for and obviously the Captain of England Alistair Cook could be available, I’m not sure if he will be playing but he is obviously a class player and will play a big role for them if he is included in the line-up. They also have Graham Napier who is a hard hitting all-rounder who is a real match-winner. So they are probably a few players we will need to look out for in the first game.
Durham player to hit the first 6 of the tournament? Phil Mustard
Durham player to get the most wickets against Essex? Graham Onions
Durham player to take the best catch this season will be? Ben Stokes
Durham player who will get a Man of the Match award in any game this season and will remind their teammates that they won this throughout the season…….. Mitchell Claydon.