Jason Smith (c) celebrates with his Cobras teammates Aviwe Mgijima and Dane Piedt after taking a wicket. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

“Every player in the Cape Cobras’ changing-room who is eligible to play for South Africa is inspired to improve the team performances. If we produce the goods as a team, it will bring individuals into the national spotlight even more,” says Aviwe Mgijima.

The Cobras middle-order batsman has certainly started the domestic four-day showpiece in fine style by smashing 112 against the defending champions, the Knights, and also another half-century against the Warriors.

Mgijima will face the latter again on Monday when Newlands hosts its first Sunfoil Series match of the new season. The Cobras played a “home” match last week in Oudtshoorn.

Mgijima, though, is not exhilarated by his performances and wants his conversion rate from half-centuries to centuries to improve.

In his quest to break into the South Africa A team, the all-rounder knows he must score at least two more centuries while also breaking stubborn partnerships with his nagging accuracy.

The 28-year-old supported the coaching staff’s view that there were too many soft moments in the first three matches with the ball and with the fielding support in the inner ring.

“We should be bowling more on one side of the strip, build pressure and thereby create chances to capture a lot more wickets,” Mgijima explained.

The former champions have been impressive with the bat, but have not yet hit their straps with the ball. The Cobras have taken just 15 wickets in the first innings in three four-day matches thus far while leaking 1 567 runs.

A major factor has been the lack of consistency, while the fielding has also been below the usual high standards of the Cobras.

But being back at home and intimately acquainted with the pace and bounce of the wicket, as well as the fact that you cannot hit on the up as easily on coastal grounds as you can at the Wanderers Stadium and SuperSport Park, will aid the Cobras.

“The wicket might become quicker after the first day. The elements might also play a role (inclement weather is expected). The bounce might be slightly slower in the match against the Warriors and turn a bit at the end of the contest,” said Newlands curator Evan Flint.

The squad for the match will be announced on Sunday.


Weekend Argus 

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