CLT20 Staff in Centurion
We have plans for Morne: Maynard
Titans coach hopes to bounce back at home against DD
After their dismal performance against the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Titans will be looking to step up their game and come back hard on their home turf.
Asked if it was probably better to have learnt their lessons now rather than later, coach Mathew Maynard replied affirmatively and added, “But the guys have played some very good cricket we perhaps didn’t do our disciplines in batting and bowling to our potential in Cape Town. But we will bounce back here; we know the ground here. The guys are in a good space and looking forward to the challenge of playing the Delhi Daredevils tomorrow.”
So what would they do differently against the Daredevils in a must win game? The coach he said, “It is about executing the skills. I think KKR executed their skills to their potential and we were just off yesterday with both bat and ball. We didn’t clear the boundaries as often as we could do and they cleared the boundaries with regular intent. So I think that was the major difference. And when the KKR batsmen came on hard, our bowlers tried to adapt to the conditions and tried to alter their length and they bowled slightly full for those conditions. But also remember the top edges that went over the hand or over the ‘keeper or fine leg. It was one of those days.”
“But we will look at what we did and have a good chat tomorrow ahead of the game against Delhi. See if we can rectify everything,” he said.
Speaking about the results in the tournament and the conditions the Titans’ coach said, “You can’t say [you are] surprised [by the results] because, the nature of the wickets here is a lot different to the Indian conditions where they have been very successful and played more as a group. The Highveld Lions started fantastically with their wins over Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, which put them in a great position. The Sydney Sixers looked a very strong side and also Delhi looked a complete side.”
“But with us and Lions, hopefully we can make it to the semis, with either Perth doing us a favour against Auckland [by beating the Auckland Aces]. But if that’s not to be, we are prepared to take on the Delhi Daredevils as well as we can,” he added.
Talking about their opponents who are currently table-toppers of Group A, he said, “They have lot of match-winners in their line-up on the batting side and the bowling side. They have some key destructive batsmen - Mahela Jayawardene, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen and the likes - they are the top three. On the bowling front they have got Morne Morkel who has been bowling with pace. So it is going to be a very tough contest but for us. But if we play to our potential, which we did in our first two matches and that’s what we have to do to compete with these guys to just play to our potential and we can compete with any side I believe.”
The home team will be going up against a fellow Titans player who is spearheading the DD bowling attack. Discussing their plans for negotiating Morne Morkel, Maynard said, “The Titans have faced him a lot in the nets over the years. The wicket looks a good wicket; a good quality Twenty20 wicket. So we will have our game plans to Morne. We know what he does. I think we can’t be too aggressive against him because that’s when he hits such good areas; it is more like waiting for him to try something.”
The Titans used some new moves against KKR that they hadn’t used earlier in the tournament. Handing the ball to David Weise brought out a positive for the hosts. Explaining the decision, the coach said, “Because of our line-up David probably didn’t get used as much as he can be.
Eden Links was expensive in his one over and the skipper went to Davy and he came up came up trumps. He showed that if you hit good areas on that wicket, then it actually wasn’t 190, 180-run wicket it was probably a more 150, 160-run kind of wicket. It was slightly easier to bat on than it was earlier in the day but again I thought that the KKR bowlers bowled with great intent in the first six overs and ultimately I think we probably lost the game in the first six overs. We had to be naught down to 50 in our chase but it was not to be. Sometimes the opposition play well and that’s the game of cricket. And they did that very well against us.”
The other thing that they did differently yesterday was, to send wicketkeeper-batsman Heino Kuhn at No 3 against KKR, after the openers got out early. However, he didn’t do as well as expected. Speaking about the decision he said, “He is kind of our insurance policy in the first six overs, if we lose is a wicket. In the first two games we didn’t lose a wicket [early on] so we pushed the skipper up the order and Farhaan [Behardien] up the order so they can take a little bit of time before they unleash the strokes. They both are powerful stroke-makers. And then Heino slips down the order. He is a quality player, a quality wicketkeeper and batsman and that’s the role we have earmarked for him at No.3. So, that was always in the plans.”
The Titans will definitely gain in confidence from playing on their home ground and in familiar conditions. The South African and Australian teams are said to be more suited to the conditions here. Speaking about the relevance of the conditions and their impact for a side, Maynard said, “From that point of a view it has an impact. More back foot play comes in, but [it is] also quick back foot play as opposed to the ball sticking in the wicket, which is a little bit more like the Cape Town wicket, where the bat sat in there because of the inclement weather. In Cape Town, the wicket wasn’t quite as dry, so the ball stuck in, which resembled Indian conditions a bit more and showed in our match how strong they are on those wickets than on the slightly quicker wickets in Highveld where they struggled a bit more.”