Multiply Titans Head Coach Mark Boucher says the Sky Blues are “in a very good space” ahead of their first game of the season against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, starting tomorrow at SuperSport Park
The Multiply Titans will begin their defence of the 4-day title on home turf and there is an air of excitement within the Titans camp as they aim to target similar performances to last season.
"The key will be to get off to a good start. Winning is a habit and if we can win the first game we can take confidence into the next game," said Boucher.
“There are areas we want to focus on and that’s in our disciplines. We’ve got to bat well and put sides under pressure early on."
“From a bowling perspective, you obviously want to bowl sides out but there are also processes you have to go through; hitting the right lines and lengths and combining that with aggression."
Boucher is pleased with his team’s preparations heading into the new campaign, which included a pre-season tour to the Seychelles and a three-day intra-squad match in home conditions last week. But the head coach is under no illusion of the challenge that awaits the reigning champions.
“We needed to get some time out in the middle and get used to playing in the heat. The three-day game was highly beneficial in that regard, as the players got some valuable time out in the middle and have looked technically very sound.
“But you can do as much work as you can off the field but once you actually get into the game time, it will be tough on the guys bodies," said Boucher.
“We understand that there is a target on our back. Being one of the leading forces in domestic cricket, we’ve learnt to play under pressure. It’s a good thing because it raises expectations and as a result the guys work that extra bit harder to stay at the top.”
The Centurion franchise will be bolstered by the return of fit-again Chris Morris, with two of the Titans' newest additions, Theunis de Bruyn and Tshepo Moreki, also named in the 12-man squad.
“We’ve got a couple of new guys in the system. I’m really looking forward to seeing Theunis play for the Sky Blues. He’s being doing really well, not only at domestic level but he’s really making the Proteas spot his own,” acknowledged Boucher.
“Tshepo plays with a lot of attitude and that one thing I really enjoy about him. He’s been fantastic since he’s arrived at the Titans and has been bowling really well in the nets.”
“If these guys get the opportunties, I’m really looking forward to what they can bring to the table.”
With Heinrich Klaasen called-up to the national set-up for the upcoming limited-overs tour against Zimbabwe, Farhaan Behardien will take over the captaincy duties. After a fine 2017-18 season with the bat, which saw him garner 560 red-ball runs at an average of 80, Boucher believes the middle-order batsman will seize the opportunity to showcase his leadership skills.
“He deserves the captaincy. He’s driven and understand the culture better than anyone in the side and has a great cricket brain I’m excited to see his season unfold - I think we’ll see some big things from him this season,” concluded Boucher.
Multiply Titans squad to face the Hollywoodbets Dolphins (from): Farhaan Behardien (c), Andrea Agathagelou, Tony de Zorzi, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Henry Davids, Theunis de Bruyn, Chris Morris, Shaun von Berg, Eldred Hawken, Tshepo Moreki, Alfred Mothoa, Junior Dala.