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Johannesburg – Sunday’s One-Day Cup playoff against the Titans at Newlands may look like a repeat of their final round-robin match, but the dynamics are totally different, according to Cape Cobras coach Paul Adams.
“It’s a completely different game playing for a place in the final,” Adams said on Friday, after his side had eased to a 111-run victory over the Titans in Paarl on Wednesday night.
“The idea is to keep the players nice and calm and keep following the same processes which we’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks.”
Following the return of the Proteas to South African soil earlier this week, after their 1-0 Test series win in Australia, Adams had the luxury, or headache, of selecting players from a larger squad, including the world's top-ranked fast bowler, Dale Steyn.
“It’s a different dynamic with the national players coming back into the side and getting the balance right. We need to get them up to speed with where we are and what we’ve achieved in their absence,” Adams said.
“The only guys not available out of our national players are Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy, who are both injured. All the others are available to play and we will tap into their energy and anything else they can bring to our team, so we’ll be up and ready for a big game on Sunday.”
Adams was likely to name his side later on Friday, and he admitted it would be a tough decision to leave anyone out of the team which had finished second on the log.
“I just need to clarify a couple of things and then, by the end of the day, we can give the squad a good idea of who will play,” Adams said.
The Titans, who finished third in the standings, despite their recent thrashing by the Cobras, also had the benefit of their international players joining the side.
AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel and Jacques Rudolph would all be available to play.
Titans skipper Martin van Jaarsveld said they had put Wednesday’s loss behind them and were in a positive mood for Sunday’s playoff.
“For a start, the change in personnel is a huge boost for us. It’s great to have that sort of quality back in the side in what is such a big game for us,” Van Jaarsveld said.
“Selection permutations are pretty tough but obviously national players will get picked first. They’ll slot in and then it’s just a matter of balancing the side with the rest of the guys in the squad.”
The winning team will play the Highveld Lions in the One-Day Cup final at the Wanderers next Friday. – Sapa