Warriors coach Robin Peterson is pleased that this season’s One-Day Cup is affording fringe players in his squad an opportunity to stake a claim for more regular action.
Several of the Warriors’ key men, such as captain Jon-Jon Smuts as well as bowlers Lutho Sipamla and Sisanda Magala, have been away with the Proteas for the opening few weeks of action.
It has meant that more unfamiliar faces at franchise level, such as Onke Nyaku, Dyllan Matthews and recent debutant Stefan Tait, have been seeing more game time.
The three are all expected to feature when the Eastern Cape franchise welcome the Imperial Lions to St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday and Peterson is excited by what he is seeing.
‘This is the time for players on the fringes to get that opportunity and take it,’ he said. ‘I think it’s for them now to make the most of these chances and maximise their prospects in the team.
‘We’re going to give them the freedom to go out there and play. We’re not going to restrict them, they are quality players, maybe not as experienced as some of the other boys, but they are still quality players and learning their games.
‘It is encouraging to see. A lot of good things have come out of the first few games from these younger players.’
Even though the Warriors have not made the best of starts to the 2019-20 campaign – they have won one out of three – Peterson is pleased that his young group of players are doing the right things.
The former South Africa spinner has also reflected on the quality of bowling that has been on show so far, saying he would like to see more fast bowlers step up their game.
‘I think the quality of the spin bowling has been good so far, but we still need to see more fast-bowling quality to come through,’ he added. ‘I think the ingredients are all there, though, hopefully we will see more of that as the competition progresses.’
The Lions and their coach, Wandile Gwavu, meanwhile, will be bidding to make it three from three in PE.
The Johannesburg-based franchise beat the Titans in their first game and followed that up with a strong win away at the Cape Cobras.
They are currently second on the log behind the defending champion Titans, with the Warriors second bottom.
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