Titans coach Mark Boucher is weighing up his heavyweight options for the Ram Slam semi-final, but Dale Steyn is sitting out the match.
It is understood that Steyn is preparing for the three-day match against the Zimbabweans, starting 20 December, in an effort to regain his place in the Boxing Day Test.
But Boucher is unconcerned about that, and is considering the balance of the team to play the Warriors at Centurion on Wednesday (start 6pm).
All their Proteas except for the injured Faf du Plessis will be available, which gives the coach plenty of options.
‘Selection has been tough throughout the season and a couple of internationals have had to sit out,’ he said. ‘Guys like Dean Elgar, who has really smashed the ball wherever he’s played. But we’ll be able to field a team with proper balance, a batting lineup down to seven and a strong bowling lineup with good variety.’
‘Quinny [de Kock] has been unlucky and we know he is due [he has scored 78 runs in six innings]. He is a quality player internationally and if he makes a good start then it will put the opposition under immediate pressure. It can be quite difficult sometimes for a guy coming down from the Proteas level, you can struggle, but when things like semi-finals and finals come along, there’s no doubt that’s there’s a lift in intensity. Even just to have Quinny on the field, with his experience, will be a positive,’ Boucher said.
Also returning is AB de Villiers, who missed the last three games.
There will be bad memories for the Warriors of SuperSport Park after they lost both white-ball finals there last season, but Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa is confident his team is on a roll after winning three matches in a row.
‘We’re looking ahead to a semi high on confidence, but also knowing that we have to start from scratch. This is a one-off match and the past doesn’t matter.’
‘Luckily for us we’ve been going together now for four or five games and we do have that continuity and momentum behind us. So we’re quite confident.’
Titans squad: Albie Morkel (c), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Malusi Siboto, Shaun von Berg.
Warriors: Jon-Jon Smuts (c), Andrew Birch, Gihahn Cloete, Colin Ingram, Christiaan Jonker, Sisanda Magala, Lesiba Ngoepe, Anrich Nortje, Jerry Nqolo, Ayabulela Gqamane, Colin Ackerman, Kelly Smuts, Yaseen Vallie, Basheer Walters, Wayne Parnell.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela