• Cobras face tough opener

    The Cape side will have to hit the ground running when they face a battle-hardened qualifier in their first CLT20 assignment.

    Justin Ontong, the Cobras skipper, said meeting a qualifier in the first match in Jaipur on 19 September won’t make their challenge an easy one.

    ‘It is about how we deal with the pressure and how we gel as a team,’ Ontong told the Cobras website.

    ‘Many members of the team have played a lot of cricket, but not necessarily the T20-format,’ he added.

    Death bowling has been a problem in South African cricket over the past few seasons. Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt and Justin Kemp are likely candidates to do the job for the Cobras, but Ontong would rather react to the situation than commit to any preconceived plans.

    ‘I am a captain who likes to trust my instincts on the field,’ he said.

    Ontong’s instincts have been excellent, yielding success in a variety of formats. He led the South African A team to four-day victories over Australia A, steered the Cobras to two Sunfoil Series titles in a row, and shared the spoils in the past two Momentum One Day-Cup campaigns.

    T20-matches, however, put more pressure on captains than other formats. They are rushed and have to think on their feet, even when the ball is disappearing to all parts.

    ‘You simply don’t have time, as you have to take decisions quickly. You have 85 minutes in which to finish the game, and if you don’t do it within the time frame, you might get banned for a match or two,’ explained Ontong.

    Following their meeting with the qualifier on 19 September, they will face the Hobart Hurricanes, Barbados Tridents and Kings XI Punjab.

    Cobras squad:

    Justin Ontong (capt), Hashim Amla, Justin Kemp, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Richard Levi, Aviwe Mgijima, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Zakhele Qwabe, Omphile Ramela, Stiaan Van Zyl, Dane Vilas.

    Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/Backpagepix

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