Pretoria - The Titans face a brutal assessment of their strength in depth when they begin their RAM SLAM T20 campaign against the Cape Cobras at Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.
Not only will the Titans be missing their regular Proteas, AB de Villiers, Morné Morkel and Faf du Plessis, but they will also be without Farhaan Behardien, Marchant de Lange and David Wiese after the trio flew to Australia for the forthcoming T20 internationals.
With Albie Morkel also absent for the start of the competition, the Titans squad has been greatly depleted and so a big performance will be required from West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy.
“He’s the only one amongst us who’s won a World Cup so it’s great to have that sort of experience in your team,” coach Rob Walter said.
“He captained at that World Cup (the 2012 World Twenty20) so his leadership will be big for us, and from a playing point of view he’s able to clear the boundary and he’s a real solid finisher, which we need in our side with Albie Morkel not available and David Wiese away.”
While the Cobras will be missing Rory Kleinveldt (groin) and Stiaan van Zyl (thigh) due to injury, the greater loss has been Robin Peterson to the Proteas squad given that off-spinner Dane Piedt will miss the entire competition.
“We’ve called up George Linde, the left-arm spinner from Western Province, who will be part of our squad this weekend and get his first taste of the Cobras set-up,” coach Paul Adams said.
Lizaad Williams and Dane Paterson also come in, but Beuran Hendricks and Justin Kemp are still out, with Kemp due to play club cricket this weekend as he makes his way back to fitness.
The game gets underway at 14:00 as the second part of Sunday’s triple-header.