Skipper backs young Titans
Martin van Jaarsveld (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - In the absence of numerous experienced campaigners, the Champions League Twenty20 offers younger players the opportunity to prove themselves, according to veteran Titans captain Martin van Jaarsveld.
The likes of Proteas players Faf du Plessis, and Morné and Albie Morkel will play for other franchises in the competition, while AB de Villiers sits out due to injury.
And while Van Jaarsveld said on Tuesday you could not replace world class players, it allowed the squad's younger members to show what they could do, with the short format levelling the playing field to a degree.
"There are some exciting young bucks coming through and I'm sure they're raring to go," Van Jaarsveld said.
Titans coach Matthew Maynard said the Centurion-based franchise had gotten used to having certain players unavailable.
"From our point of view, we are used to our players playing international cricket," Maynard said.
"So it's not something that we are unfamiliar with."
Having the Titans' opening game on their home ground would be in their favour, Van Jaarsveld believed, though he cautioned that all it took was one player to change a game.
"What will be in our favour is we know most of the conditions," the skipper said.
"We know the grounds we will be playing at, but yet again, for me, it just depends on [whether] someone has a day out."
Van Jaarsveld said there were a few players who were relatively unknown beyond South Africa's borders that people should look out for.
"Someone like a David Wiese that not many would've seen - he's a fantastic allrounder," he said.
"We are nursing him to step up one day to almost fill Albie [Morkel's] boots. [He] bowls at a decent pace and he can hit a real long ball.
"Eden Links - he's the young off-spinner. He had a fantastic campaign for us last year.
"There is a young 'keeper, Mangaliso Mosehle. I think he is a fantastic prospect.
"It's just real tough with the balance of this team to get him in the starting line-up but I'm sure if he does get a chance he's someone to watch out for in the future."
Maynard was pleased to have Farhaan Behardien back from international duty.
"Farhaan's shown his quality on the international stage as well as domestically here," the coach said.
"He's looking forward to being back with the lads and is very upbeat for this tournament. He can either be aggressive from ball one or play himself in if needs be."
Van Jaarsveld hoped the Titans would be supported by South African cricket fans, with domestic teams competing from around the world, and said winning the opening game would be crucial to building momentum.
Maynard said the Titans would aim to continue playing the aggressive, yet disciplined, cricket that helped them lift last year's domestic T20 title.
"We've just got to try and play to our potential," he said.
The Titans get their campaign underway on Saturday afternoon against Australian side Perth Scorchers at Supersport Park.