Getting off to a winning start will be key for the Warriors heading into a week which sees them play four games in the space of just over a week, caretaker coach Rivash Gobind said.
Speaking on the eve of his team’s Momentum One Day cup clash against the HollywoodBets Dolphins at St George’s Park today, Gobind said the team was looking forward to their first home match of the new year.
Gobind said his team was playing some exciting cricket, and crowds could expect much of the same when they play in front of the cricket-loving Bay crowd.
Sitting in third position after two games played, the Warriors won their opening match by six wickets against the Bizhub Highveld Lions before slumping to a 67-run defeat to the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras a few days later.
“Once we put a few wins together, we can gain some momentum in the competition, and with four matches coming in such a short space of time, if we can win a majority of them, it would put us in a great position going into the last half [of the competition],” Gobind said.
With EP and Warriors star Matthew Breetzke selected for the South African under 19 squad, leaving a hole in Gobind’s batting line-up, there were options being looked at to replace him, and these would be made in due course, he said.
“Matthew is a very exciting prospect for us, that’s why we felt he is good enough to perform at franchise level. We wish him and the team all the best for the tournament,” he said.
Speaking about the importance of experienced players like fast bowler Sisanda Magala and explosive batsman Christiaan Jonker’s exploits in the competition so far, Gobind said they were important members of the team and hoped they would continue to put in good performances with bat and ball.
Speaking of the Dolphins team, Gobind was wary of the threat posed by the Durban based outfit, saying “they have a number of X factor players who can single handedly win games on their own”.
Simon Harmer was the only addition to the squad, Gobind said.
Captain Jon Jon Smuts said the team was excited to be back in action after a short Christmas break.
Speaking about the switch from 20-over cricket to the 50-over format, Smuts said: “Obviously your tactics will change for the format of the tournament, but our mindset is to put in match-winning performances as individuals for the team.
“We always say, if it’s our day, we need to make it count for the team. So far we have done that in the first game, but came up short in the second game, so we will be looking to rectify that on Friday against the Dolphins,” said Smuts.
Smuts said St Georges Park was traditionally a bat-first wicket, and felt the toss would not really affect the game much.
“If you look at the wickets prepared by Adrian Carter for white ball cricket over the last few years, it has produced really high scoring games and it’s batter friendly, so we have to do the basics well. This is a tough format and you have to play well as a unit,” Smuts said.
After their clash today, the team heads into a busy week which sees them take on the Multiply Titans (January 7) in Benoni, the VKB Knights (January 9) in Bloemfontein before their match against the Bizhub Highveld Lions (January 11) in East London.