When Rowan Richards is in the middle of a mesmerizing spell, the lower order better get pad up, because wickets will fly and the slip cordon will be in business.
Unfortunately, the Multiply Titans swing bowler endured one of those seasons which tested his patience and character. There was no spring of hope; just a winter of despair, to quote Charles Dickens.
The 32-year old spearhead, who captured 7-40 in the final Sunfoil Series match of 2015/2016 against the Cape Cobras to ensure Titans clinched the trophy, endured a frustrating campaign last season.
In the 2016/2017-season, a lower back injury constantly caused him to bowl through matches while experiencing niggles in that back. Perhaps that partially explained why he only captured 29 wickets in the first-class season.
But he is looking on the bright side, and is celebrating the fact that there is so much depth in the squad that it challenges him to produce his very best.
“At the Titans, it is about building capacity to be fit enough to produce longer spells, to manage workloads and constantly improve,” said Richards.
Having taken 283 wickets in 80 matches, Richards still has the capabilities to swing the ball into the right-hander while straightening the odd delivery.
And that X-factor assisted him into once producing a hat-trick against the Warriors when the Eastern Cape franchise looked firmly entrenched and the game was heading for a dreary draw.
“One of my greatest aims is to consistently play for the Titans in all three forms. Currently, I am fine to play, but I’m just undergoing strengthening exercises to ensure everything is alright,” he added.
“Yes, there are many bowlers in the Titans-squad. But that is a platform for healthy conditions. Those challenges against other competitors takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to work hard.”