Maynard calls on Titans to up their game
The Nashua Titans may have an abundance of talent to call on ahead of the newly-launched Momentum One Day Cup, but coach Matthew Maynard said that it was imperative that his players realised their potential in order for the team to have a serious tilt at the title.
Jacques Rudolph, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Morne Morkel will be missing, on international duty with the Proteas in Australia, but the Centurion-based outfit are still a strong unit, with the likes of all-rounder Albie Morkel, Heino Kuhn, left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe and batsman Farhaan Behardien in their ranks.
But Maynard stressed that his players had to perform to the best of their abilities after a disappointing season last year when the Titans finished fifth in the One-Day Cup competition and missed out on the play-offs.
“Any one of the eleven players, on their day, can step up and make it their day. It’s not about getting a nice 30 or 40 with the bat, it’s about getting 80 or 100 or 120. Likewise with the ball the guys have to make it count,” Maynard told supersport.com.
“We did not have a great one-day campaign last year and we will be looking to put that right this year,” he added.
The Titans, together with the bizhub Highveld Lions, have a leg up on the franchises after their participation in the Champions League Twenty20.
The rest of the franchises were engaged in first-class cricket while the Titans and the Lions have had a chance to hone their limited-overs skills.
“We are quite confident after the campaign in the Champions League T20. It is a different format but we are confident. We’ve had some good preparation and feel that we have a squad that can compete.” Maynard said.
One obstacle standing in the Titans’ way is an ankle injury picked up by Albie Morkel, but Maynard does not expect the big-hitting Morkel to miss too much action.
“Albie will miss the first and possibly the second game due to a cortisone injection, but hopefully he’ll get in and get some form and be a real good player for us.
“Albie is a quality player as he showed in four-day cricket last year against the Cobras down in Paarl. He made 50-odd in a game that was very tight. He couldn’t just go out there and smash it around. He played a knock that showed that he is a proper batsman, and plays situations very well,” he said.
Maynard gave some insight into his team selection ahead of the Titans’ first match, against the Lions on Friday, saying that he would give batsman Mangaliso Mosehle and wicketkeeper/batsman Kuhn a run in the team.
“Mangi (Mosehle) can take the game away from the opposition and we hope that he can take his opportunities in the matches that he has. He puts a lot of pressure on himself and we will try and alleviate some of that pressure to allow him to show what talent he has.
“Heino showed in the CLT20 what a fantastic wicketkeeper he is and he was in great form during the four-day competition.
“He’s going to be up the order for us and I hope that he has a great tournament to help progress his Proteas future,” he said.