Refreshed Davids ready for Champs League
Unlimited Titans captain Henry Davids is aiming to build on his successes of last season following a largely refreshing and relaxing off season with his young family.
The 33-year-old, one of South Africa’s top domestic limited-overs performers over the last 24 months, was promoted to the Proteas Twenty20 fold last year after consistently churning out runs for his Pretoria franchise.
He is expected to be a central figure for the Titans when the Champions League T20 gets under way in India later this month.
“I’ve been happy with the progress during pre-season so far,” he told supersport.com. “We’ve played a few games and have done well.
“Personally I’ve done okay. I’m very happy with where I am, batting-wise and bowling-wise as well.”
Despite his explosive form for the Titans, Davids has recorded just 158 runs for South Africa in T20 cricket to date, included a forgettable tour to Sri Lanka last month when he managed just eight runs in three innings, although the Proteas did manage a historic series win.
“I obviously didn’t have a great time in Sri Lanka, but I’m feeling great in terms of my fitness,” he said. “It’s not a very easy place to tour and most teams find it tough when they go there.
“We still managed to win the series, which was a huge achievement. But that’s now in the past and the focus has shifted to the Titans.
“We’re looking forward to getting started in India in the coming weeks. It’s going to be a huge challenge, but we have a good squad. There is plenty of experience and youth too, so we’ll be up for it.”
Davids has since shown glimpses of a return to form by striking a superb 90 for the Titans 10 days ago when he led them to a 40-run win over the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in the eKasi Challenge.
The Centurion outfit are in Group B for the Champions League competition, alongside IPL giants Chennai Super Kings, Australia’s Big Bash League winners Brisbane Heat, Trinidad & Tobago, winners of the Caribbean Twenty20, and a still-to-be-determined qualifier.
They leave for India on September 15 and will be based in Ranchi during a pre-tournament training camp.
“It will be nice to get there early, which will give us time to acclimatise,” Davids explained.
“A lot of guys haven’t played in India before and it will be handy for them just to learn about the conditions during that period.”
The aggressive Davids, who will captain the Titans in all three formats this season after leading them in just four-day cricket last year, also praised the work that new coach Rob Walter has been doing so far.
“The work ethic has risen a lot,” he says. “There’s also a lot more intensity. Rob was with the national team for a long time and brings vast experience in that sense.
“He was there when South Africa became the No 1 test side in the world, so he brings with him that expertise and experience. That’s something that helps everyone.”
Prior to Davids’ Sri Lankan journey with the national team, he spent a large part of his off season kicking back with his wife and two young daughters back home in Cape Town – he hails from the small town of Pniel in the Western Cape.
“I have a young family, a three-year-old and 10-month-old, so it was important for me to spend a lot of time with them in the off season,” he added.
“Being a cricketer, you spend a lot of time away from home and I am very family orientated. So spending time at home with my wife and kids was just very refreshing and relaxing.”