Morkel’s brilliant 134 not out turned the Momentum One-Day Cup final on its head last season, and so his return is timely as the Titans visit PPC Newlands to take on the Cape Cobras in a repeat of that fixture.
What’s more, the 34-year-old should be high on confidence after earning a recall to South Africa’s Twenty20 squad, for whom he took 3 for 12 as the Proteas beat India in the second T20 International match to clinch the series.
With no points on the board and tough away fixtures against the Cobras and Lions this weekend, the Titans already face a tough battle but are not yet feeling the pressure.
“We’ve started each season with a loss and managed to pull it back, so hopefully we can have more of the same,” said coach, Rob Walter.
Asked how much confidence his side could take from winning the final at Newlands last season, he said: “I guess some, although not too much - this is a new season and you start all over again. It gives us a good memory to reflect on if anything, but we’re still going to have to go out and play well to beat the Cobras.”
Paul Adams’ side are also yet to get off the mark in the competition after they were well beaten by the bizhub Highveld Lions last weekend, but won’t be making any harsh decisions with regards to selection.
“We’re looking to go with the same squad,” coach, Paul Adams, said. “I think it’s important that you give players confidence and also give them a review of their game and see if they can pick it up from there.”
The Cobras will wait to see whether Andrew Puttick is available after the opener came down with a mouth infection this week, and have added Keegan Petersen to their squad as cover.
Adams expects to have new recruit Wayne Parnell back to full fitness by next week, but Beuran Hendricks faces a longer spell on the sideline.
- Michael Owen Smith