Seattle Orcas bank on South African flavour for victory push

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Heinrich Klaasen and Quinton de Kock will be key to the Orcas' fortunes.
Heinrich Klaasen and Quinton de Kock will be key to the Orcas' fortunes. © Getty


The franchise made headlines in American mainstream media with the announcement of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as one of its lead investors. Earlier this year, GMR Group, part owners at Delhi Capitals, bought a part of the franchise's equity to bring in some IPL flavour into the mix. Orcas appointed Praveen Amre as their head coach, who has also served as the assistant coach at the Delhi Capitals for three seasons. Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor will assume the role of the batting coach. This will be Taylor's first stint in coaching capacity in a T20 league after his retirement last year. Ex South Africa spinner Johan Botha will take charge as the bowling of the unit.

How did they fare in the domestic draft?

The Orcas exercised their perquisite of first overall draft pick wisely by onboarding former India U19 and Rajasthan Royals left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh. He is now a multi-faceted cricketer with an ability to wield the long handle to good effect. Barring captain Harmeet, Orcas picked Shubham Ranjane and Phani Simhadri from the Seattle Thunderbolts, the reigning Minor League Cricket champions. Ranjane, a former Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai allrounder, carries the ability to bat in the top-6 and double up as a third seamer. Simhadri, with his judicious mix of cutters and slower balls, bagged the highest wickets in the Minor League.

The Orcas roped in the Sri Lankan duo of Shehan Jayasuriya and Angelo Perera. Having played his last for Sri Lanka in March 2020, the 31-year-old Jayasuriya lit up the Minor League with over 500 runs in 14 games. The Orcas also added another batsman with international honors in the form of Nauman Anwar, who played a solitary T20I for Pakistan in 2015. USA vice captain Aaron Jones and USA born NSW fast bowler Cameron Gannon fill up the rest of the domestic draft slots for the franchise.

International signings:

Orcas contracted a quality South African contingent in Quinton de Kock, Wayne Parnell, Heinrich Klaasen and Dwayne Pretorius. De Kock and Klaasen come off contrasting IPL campaigns. De Kock was benched in favor of Kyle Mayers for the majority of the tournament by LSG while Klaasen enjoyed a purple patch, notching up a staggering 448 runs at an average of 49 for SRH. Pretorius rode the bench for CSK as well barring a game against MI.

Nineteen-year-old Afghanistan leg spinner Izhar-ul-Haq brings in the surprise element in the Orcas bowling unit with his wrist spin. Haq has been on the radar of various franchise leagues world over with stints in the CPL, BBL and PSL. The Orcas will also hope to bank on the death bowling street smarts of Andrew Tye. Sri Lanka captain, Dasun Shanaka will rush to America days after ensuring his country's World Cup qualification to add firepower to the Orcas middle order.

Probable XI :Quinton de Kock, Nauman Anwar, Shehan Jayasuriya, Heinrich Klaasen, Dasun Shanaka, Angelo Perera, Shubham Ranjane, Wayne Parnell, Harmeet Singh, Andrew Tye, Izhar ul Haq

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