Vilas said if there is an area in which the Cobras can show improvement, it is their tendency to strive for too much too early. They lose patience with bat and ball.
“We attempt to bat at a tempo of 3.5 runs per over instead of setting up the game. We need to lay the foundation first, and attack from there. We need aggressive defence.
“With the ball, we might attempt a glory ball, instead of striving for consistency,” he added.
Vilas said the first-innings total are still not sufficient enough, as the champions won the four-day domestic showpiece the past two seasons have been dismissed on too many occasions for 250, instead of setting up substantial totals of 350 to 400.
The new skipper wants the Cobras to address these problem areas in the four-day match against the Sunfoil Dolphins starting at the Newlands cricket ground on Thursday.
Pieter Malan, who has scored four first-class centuries in the 2014/2015-season, will replace Ontong in a straight swop.
The experienced all-rounder Robin Peterson and Justin Kemp have started training with the team, but have not had substantial enough bowling practice to make themselves available for Sunfoil Series action.
As a middle-order batsman, Vilas has slammed 436 at an average of 54.50.
Probed about his success, Vilas said he has spoken at length with successful senior batsmen like Stiaan van Zyl and Ontong, and have learned from their more patient approach to building totals.
He hopes to continue his prolific form into the match against the Dolphins.
The visitors have at least two new-age fast bowlers who can challenge the top-order of the hosts. Mathew Pillans is fresh from a 10-wicket haul against the Chevrolet Knights, while Daryn Dupavillon is a former South African u.19-bowler whose ability with reverse swing has been a standout-factor for the Durban franchise.
The Cobras squad for the match against the Dolphins is: Dane Vilas (capt), Stiaan van Zyl, Richard Levi, Omphile Ramela, Andrew Puttick, Pieter Malan, SA Engelbrecht, Dane Piedt, Rory Kleinveldt, Mthokozisi Shezi, Beuran Hendricks, Dane Paterson, Lizaad Williams.