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Ken Borland

A team can’t just be full of Thors, you need the old heads of the domestic game too 0

Posted on October 28, 2022 by Ken

Putting together a successful team is not as simple as just buying the biggest names with the greatest strikepower; even The Avengers had one Thor but also important, more down-to-earth members like the Wasp, Hawkeye and Black Widow.

The same will apply to the SA20 franchises when they put together their final 17-man squads at the player auction in Cape Town on Monday, according to the veteran coaches who participated in a round-table discussion on Thursday.

“Planning is key before the auction, you need to have a clear outline and know exactly what you want,” Joburg Super Kings coach Eric Simons said. “It gets pretty hectic when the paddles start going up, so you need to be very clear about where the player you are bidding for fits into the team, rather than just going for someone because they’re a big name.

“You’re after two or three skills in one player and, from a Super Kings perspective, you also want local players who understand the conditions and the fans can get behind them.

“You need to build a common strategy and synergy, it’s 17 individuals but you have to make a team out of them, choose players who will play for that uniform,” Simons said.

“It’s not just 11 players who will win you the competition, probably 15 will have to get you over the line,” Durban Super Giants coach Lance Klusener said.

“The guys who come into the side as back-up towards the end of the competition become really important cogs.”

So one can expect old heads with intimate knowledge of all the domestic venues like Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Reeza Hendricks, Dane Vilas, Wayne Parnell and Jon-Jon Smuts to attract plenty of interest.

While it is a pity that the weakness of the rand means prices of overseas players are over-inflated, Simons, who has been coaching at the IPL for a decade, said the focus of these franchise leagues should always be on the local players.

“A lot of people make the mistake in thinking that the IPL is all about the international players. It’s not, it’s about Indian cricketers and it’s a privilege for us from overseas to be involved.

“The SA20 will be no different, it’s the local players who will make up the strength of the team. Building a very solid local component is a vital part of success.

“A lot of those South African players are very good value, but so far we know only their base prices, who knows where the bidding will end?

“There are certainly some guys who missed out on the pre-auction who I have no doubt there will be great interest in,” Simons said.

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