The mental freshness of the players, the depth of the squad that saw 20 players represent the Multiply Titans in the Momentum One Day Cup competition and the team ethos and culture that embraced the philosophy that the well-being of the Titans is their primary objective, richly contributed to the Titans’ successful season, said Mark Boucher.
In a thinly veiled warning to other domestic coaches, the Titans coach said he wants to widen the gap between his side and other domestic franchises, setting standards for the players so that the team can compare favourably at international level.
“If every one of our players could represent South Africa, I would have fulfilled my mission,” he said.
A factor during this season's campaign, which yielded the CSA T20 Challenge and the Momentum One Day Cup trophies, was that all the players who stepped in or up, performed superbly.
Players who only represented the Multiply Titans in a limited number of games, excelled. That was because they did not perceive their selection as a source of pressure, but as an opportunity to express themselves.
Eldred Hawken and Rivaldo Moonsamy were two of those players who performed superbly.
Shaun von Berg, David Wiese and Jonathan Vandiar missed out on playing in the 50-over final when they could easily have represented any other franchise in the country.
And when these players were unleashed, they were outstanding. Von Berg captured 32 wickets in five games in the Sunfoil Series, and 15 in six completed matches in the Momentum One Day Cup.
Trust and honesty are important ingredients in ensuring a good team spirit. The players know that they can trust Boucher and that he will be honest with them on why they were left out for certain games.
Boucher said national players like Chris Morris, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardien and Tabraiz Shamsi were excellent with their approach to the game and lifted the spirit of the team.
The coach paid tribute to Northerns and Easterns, and said these cup-winning provinces provide a superb base for players to advance to the next phases of their first-class careers.
“In terms of the Momentum One Day Cup competition, we left our best for last,” said Boucher, referring to the 236-run win against an outclassed Warriors.
The Multiply Titans reached 400, 415 and 425 during three Momentum One Day Cup matches.
“I have felt throughout the campaign we had the bowlers to take 20 wickets, but in the Sunfoil Series we did not score enough runs consistently. I always felt we performed at 70 % of our powers. It is something we will address next season.
“I also want the players to guard against complacency," he added.
Yet Boucher’s men will be immensely proud of their achievements. Henry Davids (673), Aiden Markram (508), Albie Morkel (351) were amongst the top six in the leading national averages in the Momentum One Day Cup Series.
Junior Dala, Morris, von Berg and Shamsi, similarly, featured amongst the top six in the bowling department of the 50-over competition.
Behardien, with 352 runs at an average of 117.33, was the stand out batsman in the CSA T20 Challenge. But it was the quartet of bowlers, Lungi Ngidi, Dala, Malusi Siboto and Wiese, along the guile and shrewd captaincy of Morkel, who won a tightly-contested 20-over final against the Warriors when big match temperament and sharp decision-making determined glory.