HE’S better known for his explosive exploits in the shorter forms of the game.
But one-day and Twenty20 specialist Vele Dukoski will be out to show he can master the four-day format when he makes his Futures League debut for the ACT Comets against Tasmania next week.
Dukoski was one of five Queanbeyan players named in the Comets side for its opening game of the 2013/14 Futures League season which begins on Monday.
Queanbeyan’s Jono Dean is set to captain the side which will also include clubmates Josh Bennett, Dean Solway and Blake Dean and former Bluebags batsman Michael Spaseski.
Dukoski made his Comets debut last year in the side’s Twenty20 series against the Melbourne Renegades and has made a name for himself as a hard hitting all-rounder.
A fortnight earlier, the 23-year-old set an ACT grade cricket Twenty20 record when he hit an unbeaten 177 for Queanbeyan against a City & Suburban side at Kingston Oval.
But Dukoski acknowledged he would have to temper his natural aggression if he’s to make a successful transition to the four-day format.
“I think I will definitely have to smarten up my cricket,” he said. “I can’t go out there thinking I’m going to whack every ball.
“I’ve just got to be patient and play smart. Higgsy [Comets coach Mark Higgs] and Jono Dean have spoken to me about the fact I can’t go out there and play like I play with Queanbeyan each week.
“I’ll have to be willing to leave a lot which isn’t something I’ve been able to do very well [in the past].”
After being included in the Comets wider training squad for the first time last season, Dukoski said his Futures League debut had come about sooner than expected.
And he credited Higgs in large part with his rise through the ranks after only taking up the sport at the relatively late age of 15.
“I’ve been playing with Higgsy for seven years now and he’s watched me come through my whole career basically,” Dukoski said.
“He knows what I’m good at and what I’m not so he’s helped me massively on the areas I need to improve on.
“This year I spent a fair bit of time working with him over the off-season getting everything right and I guess it’s paid off. Hopefully I just don’t let him down next week.”
The Comets will fly to Hobart on Sunday to take on Tasmania at Lindisfarne Oval.
The side will be out to make a winning start to the competition after narrowly missing out on claiming a second Futures League crown in three years last season.