SACricketmag.com talk to the coaches ahead of the Momentum One-Day Cup, which starts on Friday with a match between the Titans and the Warriors at Centurion.
The Titans, defending champions of the Momentum One-Day Cup, has brushed off suggestions that there will be extra pressure on them when the tournament gets underway on Friday.
The Titans beat the Cape Cobras in last year’s final at Newlands and have added the likes of Quinton de Kock and David Wiese to their ranks for the season ahead.
2014/15 log finish: 3rd (5 wins, 4 losses)
Player to watch: David Wiese
Coach Rob Walter: ‘At the end of the day you always go out and try to win a competition, whether you came first or last. No, I don’t think there is added pressure on us because we won it last year. We’ve done nicely in ODI cricket for a long time now. We’re just looking forward to getting out and playing.’
2014/15 log finish: 4th (5 wins, 5 losses)
Player to watch: Colin Ingram
Coach Malibongwe Maketa: ‘Facing the Titans will be a good test for us to see where we’re at. For us it’s all about the processes that we need to go through in order to compete for trophies. We have identified that we need more team performances for us to win games. That is what we did towards the end of last season and it helped us win games. That will be the biggest focus for us; to make sure every player pitches up for every game and play their part in executing their skills.’
2014/15 log finish: 5th (3 wins, 6 losses)
Player to watch: Hardus Viljoen
Coach Geoffrey Toyana: ‘Our main focus, as at the start of any major competition, is to try and hit the ground running. We’re playing at home and against a good side, but we have trained well in the off-season and I have a squad that is ready. We started well last year, but we faded towards the end. I think in any competition it is important to start well, that brings the confidence up early.
‘We will be missing some of our quality players, Eddie Leie is not going to be around, [Aaron] Phangiso and Kagiso Rabada are in India and Temba Bavuma is only going to play a couple of games for us, so it is important that before these players go we’ve ensured that the foundation is laid really well in this competition.’
2014/15 log finish: 1st (6 wins, 3 losses)
Player to watch: Omphile Ramela
Coach Paul Adams: ‘We are still nursing guys back to full fitness like Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks who is completing their rehabilitation. Having a bowling unit who can bowl teams out consistently is very important so they will play key roles for us.’
The Cobras will, however, have to cope with the loss of Dane Vilas, Dane Piedt, Stiaan van Zyl and Vernon Philander who will be heading to India after three games to link up with the South African Test squad.
2014/15 log finish: 2nd (5 wins, 2 losses)
Player to watch: Khaya Zondo
Coach Lance Klusener: ‘We have to improve in our fielding and make smarter decisions more often. Teams who do that are usually there when it really counts so we are working on that because we have high expectations of ourselves. Some of the players have played in the Africa Cup and we’ve also had a few warm-up games so we are ready to go.’
2014/15 log finish: 6th (2 wins, 6 losses)
Player to watch: Diego Rosier
Coach Sarel Cilliers: ‘Our log position didn’t really reflect the way we played cricket last year. We have basically the same squad as last year and would like to find a way to get over the line in certain games, something we weren’t able to do last year.’