CLT20 team profile: Lions

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The only South African franchise to compete in three editions of the Champions League Twenty20, their consistent experience will county for plenty. The split of their XI, though, demands careful consideration.

<b>Captain:</b> Alviro Petersen<br><b>Coach:</b> Geoffrey Toyana<br><b>2012 CLT20:</b> Losing finalists<br><b>C365 Rating:</b> 6/10<br><b>Betting Odds:</b> <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket/champions-league-20' target='_blank' class='instorylink'>14-1</a>

<b>Strengths</b><br>Conditions are bound to suit the spinners in India and, in Aaron Phangiso's miserly economy and Imran Tahir's wicket-taking prowess, the Lions sport two of the best.

The only South African franchise to compete in three editions of the Champions League Twenty20, their consistent experience will county for plenty. The split of their XI, though, demands careful consideration.

Lopsided losers to the Sydney Sixers in last year's final, Petersen's men have more drive than most to go one better this time. The diligent guidance of coach Toyana, meanwhile, is veritable breath of fresh air.

<b>Weaknesses</b><br>All-rounders are key to the success of a Twenty20 outfit and the Lions are, admittedly, lacking. The talented Chris Morris' obligation to the Chennai Super Kings will be detrimental to the bowling options.

While Tsotsobe's arrival should bring impetus, it will also yield fitness concerns. The lazy left-arm seamer has been chastised in the past, and must promptly fit in with the training regime of his new team.

Skipper Petersen, it could be argued, has a large ego – particularly after questioning his exclusion from South Africa's limited-overs fold recently. The Lions needs a cool, selfless head at he helm.

<b>Star Player</b><br>Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, one surmises, holds the key to South Africa's limited-overs future – and has started the domestic season with some pretty impressive form. Long may it continue through the CLT20.

<b>Bench Warmer</b><br>Fast bowler Ethan O'Reilly struggled to gain a place in the XI during the Lions' 2012 campaign and, with the arrival of Lonwabo Tsotsobe, the trend isn't likely to change.

<b>They Said</b><br>"We tend to mix it up a bit, we've got a few spinners that have come through the ranks that have done really well in South African conditions. Aaron Phangiso has played international cricket, so has Imran Tahir. So that's two in our favour. Sohail Tanvir is from Pakistan so he knows exactly what to expect." – batsman Neil McKenzie.

<b>Squad</b><br>Temba Bavuma, Gulam Bodi, Quinton De Kock, Neil McKenzie, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ethan O'Reilly, Hardus Viljoen, Rassie van der Dussen, Alviro Petersen, Aaron Phangiso, Dwaine Pretorius, Jean Symes, Imran Tahir, Sohail Tanvir, Thami Tsolekile.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>Monday, 23 September: v Perth Scorchers, Ahmedabad<br>Wednesday, 25 September: v Rajasthan Royals, Jaipur<br>Friday, 27 September: v Mumbai Indians, Ahmedabad<br>Sunday, 29 September: v TBC, Jaipur

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