Titans bank on pre-season
Rob Walter (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The South African franchise cricket season springs to life on Friday with the Titans taking on the Cape Cobras in the One-Day Cup.
Titans coach Rob Walter believes that his side’s foray into the Champions League Twenty20 last month will give them a crucial edge.
Although the Titans missed out on the semi-final stage of the tournament after winning two and losing two in India, Walter expects his side to be more battle-ready for what will be his first game in charge on home soil.
“The greatest benefit of going to the Champions League is that we played some seriously competitive cricket ahead of the start of the season, whereas the other guys haven’t. For me that gives us a little bit of a head start,” said Walter.
“The competition that we played against and the quality of the players that we came up against gave us a good idea as to where our skills are right now in relation to where they need to be if we want to compete.”
Friday’s clash is a repeat of last season’s One-Day Cup semi-final, which the Cobras won by three wickets. They were forced to share the trophy with the Highveld Lions after the final was rained out, and coach Paul Adams expects another good season after retaining a largely unchanged squad.
“We had a really good season last year so we’ve kept the core of the team together and have brought in some of the younger players,” he said. “It’s the key of mixing youth and experience and trying to create an energy that yields a successful team.”
There has been one change to the playing conditions used last season, with captains required to have five fielders inside the inner ring during non-Powerplay overs - a law which Walter experienced during his time as conditioning coach of the Proteas.
“In some aspects it’s had very little influence, and in other parts of the game it’s seen the scores drop with more pressure on the batters, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out domestically,” said Walter.
The match gets underway at SuperSport Park at 15:00 on Friday.