CAPE TOWN – The Paarl Rocks will hope the infusion of the Proteas into their squad will bring about a change of fortunes.
The Boland Park-based team have come up short in their first two Mzansi Super League matches and now face a virtual must-win clash in the inaugural Western Cape derby against the Cape Town Blitz on Sunday.
National team captain Faf du Plessis will take over the reins from Henry Davids, while batsman Aiden Markram and left-arm chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi are also expected to come straight into the starting line-up.
While Du Plessis’ inspirational leadership cannot be taken for granted, it is Shamsi’s wicket-taking ability that is much needed by the Rocks.
The Paarl side have conceded over 200 runs in both their matches, with both the Tshwane Spartans and Jozi Stars' opening pairs laying a solid platform in excess of 100 runs.
“We have struggled taking wickets thus far,” Rocks opening batsman Michael Klinger told the media after the 60-run defeat to the Jozi Stars.
We have played on a good batting surface and come up against some really good players but we certainly keep backing our bowlers to take wickets. We have a wicket-taker in Shamsi coming back into the team, so that will hopefully help. We just haven’t been at 100 percent in all three aspects. Hopefully the internationals will bring a bit of energy and spark.”
The trend in the MSL has also been for the captains to insert the opposition after winning the toss. Davids has followed suit, but this ploy has backfired on each occasion. Does Klinger expect Du Plessis to change it up should he call correctly on Sunday?
“I think in any game if you do it well, it doesn’t really matter what you do first. We probably haven’t bowled or fielded as well as would have liked, which has resulted in us chasing 200. We were this close to getting over the line first time. And (against the Stars) we didn’t bat well enough. It is tough work chasing 200,” Klinger said.
“Obviously when you come into a tournament you want to start well, so we just had a chat now and we understand the things we are not doing well, but we also need to stay positive. You have to bring your A-game when it counts, and as a whole we haven’t done that.
There are eight games to go, so there is no reason why we can’t do that going forward.”@ZaahierAdams