CAPE TOWN - “Now is not the time to start panicking,” says Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince.
The Cobras have been under the pump in the early stages of the RamSlam T20 Challenge with Prince’s side yet to get off the mark after three matches. Their latest defeat last Sunday to the Titans at SuperSport Park was particularly disappointing with the defending champions romping to a bonus-point victory after restricting the Cobras to 119/9.
Such poor results usually lead to wholesale changes but Prince does not believe a complete shake-up is needed yet. There is one casualty, though, with the experiment to use middle-order batsman Qaasim Adams as wicket-keeper deemed a failure.
Adams was initially selected on the basis of his power-hitting, but it has been undervalued with the 33-year-old only being afforded one opportunity to bat in three matches. He was brilliantly caught by Tabraiz Shamsi on the third-man boundary after scoring just eight runs last Sunday and has now been dropped for the weekend’s matches as a result.
It does seem unfair that the Cobras have made their part-time keeper/batsman the scapegoat for their lowly position on the log, especially as the entire team, which is loaded with internationals, have all under-performed.
Convener of selectors Barney Mohamed and his panel have opted to look outside the regular squad for reinforcements, with Boland’s Ferisco Adams and Ricardo Vasconcelos called into a 14-man squad for matches against the Highveld Lions (Boland Park, Friday at 6pm) and the Knights (Newlands, Sunday at 4pm).
Adams previously played for the Cobras as a skilful bowler who possesses a variety of slower balls, but has in recent times improved his batting a great deal. The pair boosted their chances of a Cobras call-up at the beginning of the month when they shared a 187-run partnership for the first wicket for Boland against Western Province at Newlands in a Sunfoil three-day match.
Vasconcelos, a hard-hitting opener who also keeps wicket, smashed 106 off 99 balls while Adams belted 149 off 125 balls that helped power Boland to 344/3 in just 50.3 overs.
There could also be a possible return to the starting line-up for Rory Kleinveldt.
“We haven’t been good up front with the new ball and we need to address that. Rory adds a lot of value due to his experience and hopefully he can make an impact,” Prince said.
“There are couple of changes but now is not the time to panic. Neither do I believe we are in a situation where it’s ‘win or bust’.
“We are back home for a few matches now and if we get two good results, without looking too far ahead, this weekend then we are right back in it,” said Prince.
Cape Cobras team: JP Duminy (capt), Ferisco Adams, Ricardo Vasconcelos (w/k), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Wayne Parnell, Dane Piedt, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Jason Smith.