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Tendo relishes key role with Volts

All-rounder happy with his team’s chances after helping them to Group Stage

Ryan ten Doeschate is your quintessential globe-trotting cricketer who adds value to every team for which he plays. He takes up whatever role he is given and – with a charming smile on his face – does everything in his capacity to live up to it.

Whether it is the high-profile star-studded Kolkata Knight Riders or the less-frill-more-fight Otago Volts, they will tell you that this South African-born Dutchman is a fine man to have around.

For the Volts, though, Tendo’s value goes much beyond the dressing room. He was – with 401 runs in 10 matches at 50.12 – the biggest reason why the Otago unit made the Qualifier round of CLT20 2013. In his first game of the tournament, Qualifier 3, against the Kandurata Maroons, ten Doeschate’s all-round brilliance saw his team through to the Group Stage.

With the ball he achieved remarkable figures of 2-0-9-2, held two crucial catches and scored 64 (32 balls) as the Volts romped home by six wickets, chasing 154.

In a delightful post-match conversation with clt20.com, the 33-year-old all-rounder described his role with his New Zealand club and shared how he thrived on bigger responsibilities.

Excerpts from his chat:

You fly to India, and in your first game you give that kind of performance!

I love coming to India and I have been looking forward to this competition. It was only at the last moment that I was told I wasn’t required at Essex and that I could come here and join the Otago Volts, which was great news. Hopefully, we can win the main draw of the competition but this (qualifying in the Group stage) in itself is a wonderful achievement for the guys. New Zealand is one of the smaller cricket nations in the world, and a place in the main draw is very well admired and deserved.

You have been a talisman for the Otago team. You literally batted them to the HRV Cup win. How has it been playing in New Zealand?

I enjoy playing anywhere but obviously when you do well, you tend to enjoy the place that much more. I think we are a very accomplished side. The T20 format requires someone to stand up in different situations. I might have got the most runs in the HRV Cup, but there are guys who contributed throughout the tournament. I believe that’s why we have been so good in the last 12 months or so.

In the HRV cup you were the team’s biggest batting star and your responsibilities were also lofty. How much has your role changed here with the presence of Brendon McCullum?

Brendon is a seasoned international cricketer and I think it would be foolish to suggest anything else other than he is the guy we look at to carry our hopes. But again, everyone has to chip in and sometimes, a 25 not-out is just as crucial as a 70 or an 80. For instance, Hamish Rutherford is a fantastic talent and someone who is consistently scoring 20-30 runs now. Yes, there are match-winners in every team and it’s nice to have a few guys who we can turn to for big performances. They give us a good chance in the main draw.

Do you expect to bowl more in this tournament? That bowling change worked like a charm (he dismissed Dilhara Lokuhettige and Lahiru Thirimanne in the 13th and 15th overs respectively).

(Smiling sheepishly) I’m absolutely disgusted that I only got two overs. I bowled two overs for nine runs, picked a wicket in each of them and Bazz (Brendon McCullum) just yanked me off to give one of his New Zealand colleagues (James Neesham) a ball (Laughs). No, but on a serious note, that will be my role in this tournament – I will bat at No.4 or 5 and if need be, bowl a couple of overs to change things up. In this match the spin didn’t particularly work – there was very little turn and it was easy to hit through the line of the ball. So, we had to try something different.

When you play in the IPL for KKR, you know you will not be playing all the matches due to the constraint over the number of foreign players. But you become a key part of a team like Otago. How does your mental make-up and preparations change?

It is very different, mindset more than anything else. But you’ve got to accept that you are not playing games for certain reasons and in all the big teams it is difficult to even get a handful of games. That was one thing that was very appealing to me when I went to New Zealand last year.

When I joined the Volts I knew that I’ll play 10 games, bat up the order and get to shoulder more responsibilities. Here I will have to take more onus and I like that idea because that’s the kind of role teams give to their key players.

As someone who plays for so many teams around the world, is it difficult to adjust to different team environments and dressing rooms?

I’m sure everyone says this, but I really like to think that I am a wholehearted cricketer and I thrive in competition. I just try and give absolutely everything whoever I play for and try to fit in into every team as needed. I have enjoyed playing for every team I have played.

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