With the RamSlam trophy already on display in the trophy cabinet, the Titans have turned their focus to another defence of a title they won last season, when they open their account in the Momentum One-day Cup against the Knights in Centurion today.
Unsurprisingly there are a lot of changes to the playing personnel, many were expected as a result of the Proteas now being called back for the resumption of international commitments, but also a few injuries incurred as the ‘physicality’ of the T20 format took its toll in the last six weeks.
Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, will all be heading to Port Elizabeth to start preparations for South Africa’s first day/night Test on home soil against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day.
Meanwhile the Titans coach Mark Boucher has also had to make provision for the absence due to injury of Henry Davids, who damaged his meniscus right before the RamSlam semi-final against the Warriors last week, while Chris Morris hurt his groin in last Saturday’s final.
As a result a host of new and not so new faces have been called into the fold for the clash at SuperSport Park. Andrea Agathangelou, Gregory Mahlokwana, Grant Thomson and Eldred Hawken, none of whom played any part in the RamSlam, have been included in the 14-man squad, while Heino Kuhn has also recovered following knee surgery.
Agathangelou will be feeling good about himself having made a double hundred in a three-day match last week for the Northerns semi-professional team against Northern Cape in Kimberley. That same match saw Hawken take a ‘five-for.’ Mahlokwana, a 23-year-old left-arm spinner, has played just eight matches, across the three formats in the senior ranks.
Boucher is hopeful the new faces in the squad can provide some energy.
“The challenge is going to be, obviously coming off a very big high of winning the T20 competition to a couple of days turnaround in a new competition, it’s almost like one game and then we’re on holiday,” he said.