The Cape Cobras possess the right mix of top-order excellence, middle-order power, bowling depth and reserve strength to win the Momentum One Day Cup competition this season, said Ashwell Prince, the coach.
The Cobras will kick off their competition with a clash against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead in Durban at 13:30 on Thursday and will play against the Warriors at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn on Saturday at 10:00.
Dane Piedt, seasoned off-spinner of the Cobras, warned that the Dolphins will build their game plans at home around their spinners, Prenelan Subrayen and Imran Tahir.
They also have a very experienced core of batsmen in Dane Vilas, Morné van Wyk and Vaughn van Jaarsveld.
“But we are a lot more exciting, dynamic and have more variation to lean into,” Piedt added.
Prince expressed a vote of confidence in the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad. “There will be minimum expectations to qualify for the playoffs and from the semi-finals, anything can happen.
“We have excellent cover in all the departments – the openers, the middle-order batsmen and the bowlers – to win the whole competition.”
The Titans have won the past three white-ball competitions, but Prince said they can be beaten. The team underlined it a couple weeks ago at Newlands by edging the Titans by three wickets in the RAM SLAM.
The Cobras and Western Province have won five 50-over domestic competitions since 2000/2001 and the Cobras have been a finalist in five of the past six seasons.
JP Duminy, the Momentum One Day Cup captain, said the team will embrace a positive and adventurous approach. In many cases, it is just a natural progression from the individual players’ personas.
Richard Levi has a natural game plan to attack while Dane Paterson and Rory Kleinveldt are aggressive bowlers in their wicket-taking exploits.
The Cape Cobras have a proud record in the Momentum One Day Cup competition but was not at their best in last season’s 50-over series.
Piedt said one of the key facets requires improvement, is to win home games. “Last season we played terrible at home, but won three away from home,” he said.
It is important to keep the Newlands crowd who faithfully support them, happy, he added.
The Cobras are not the finished article on the field, but their awareness in the field and their willingness to improve in every practice session has been positives, Duminy added.
Prince, asked about young players in the Cobras’ squad that can move to the next level, said the right mindset and willingness to learn through hard toil, is vitally important.
“Only once in a generation or two, you have a player like Kagiso Rabada who takes the next step right away.”
“Vernon Philander demonstrated why it is important to work your way into the national team by taking the hard yards. He had captured 275 first-class wickets by the time he got into the SA test team,” Prince added.
Cape Cobras Squad: JP Duminy (C), Ferisco Adams, Qaasim Adams, Rory Kleinveldt, Carlos Koyana, Richard Levi, George Linde, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Jason Smith