Both the Highveld Lions and the Titans have questions over the balance of their teams as they meet in a RamSlam T20 Challenge match in Potchefstroom on Friday night.
Both sides were unable to counteract the top-order power of the Dolphins in their previous encounters, with David Miller once again hurting the Titans and Kevin Pietersen’s spectacular century edging out the Lions in midweek.
The Titans have added Graeme van Buuren, a batsman who can bowl effective limited-overs left-arm spin, to their squad, with Qaasim Adams, unfortunate not to be in the starting XI, now not even in the squad.
“Selection is tricky, but it’s a nice tricky to have. We just need to find the right balance for the day and we need to be flexible. There are probably four guys who are in great form but are not playing,” Titans coach Rob Walter said.
While the Lions had not yet announced their squad at the time of going to press, they have used the same XI in both their matches. With Neil McKenzie out of favour and Temba Bavuma away with the Proteas, their batting line-up depends heavily on the experience of Alviro Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen, while they have used just five bowlers in both matches.
“Their middle-order has yet to be tested and if we can get a few early wickets then maybe we can put some pressure on the young, inexperienced players. Their experienced players have done well for them, guys like Van der Dussen and Pietersen with the bat and Aaron Phangiso and Lonwabo Tsotsobe with the ball are in key positions,” Walter said.
The Titans coach said minor surgery rather than dramatic changes was needed after their opening loss to the Dolphins.
“It’s just small portions of the game that weren’t up to standard and losing by six runs showed that we got just a few things wrong. The Dolphins should never have got that amount of runs on that pitch, but Albie Morkel produced an unbelievable innings to get us close.
“It was a very different pitch to what we’re used to at home, but we didn’t adapt as we should have and played some shots that weren’t on in those conditions. Potch should be a really good pitch, a decent surface, although it could potentially be slow due to the lack of rain,” Walter said.
Titans squad: Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, Graeme van Buuren, Heino Kuhn, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Mangaliso Mosehle, Chris Morris, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Junior Dala, Grant Mokoena, Ruben Claassen, Marchant de Lange.