The Cobras leave for India on Saturday (13th September).
Justin Ontong, the vastly successful Cobras skipper, said meeting a qualifier in the first match in Jaipur on the 19th September, won’t make their challenge an easy one.
“It is about how we deal with the pressure and how we gel as a team,” he said.
“Many members of the team have played a lot of cricket, but not necessarily the T20-format,” he added.
Following their meeting with the qualifier on the 19th September, they will face the Hurricanes on 21st September in Hyderabad.
Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt and Justin Kemp are likely candidates to deliver the death overs, but Ontong did not want to commit himself to any names, saying that he will look at the situation before deciding on the right approach or players.
“I am a captain who likes to trust my instincts on the field,” he said.
He added that a senior bowler might be punished severely in his opening spell, which will prompt him to employ another bowler in the death overs.
Ontong’s instincts have been excellent, judging on his recent success as a leader. He was the captain of the South African A-team that beat Australia A in successive seasons. He was also at the helm when the Cobras won two Sunfoil Series titles the past two seasons, and shared the winning spoils in the 2012/2013- and 2013/2014-season in the Momentum One Day-Cup campaign.
But T20-matches put more pressure on captains than most formats, simply because the skippers hardly have any time to take decisions and have to think on their feet like cabinet ministers facing a barrage of questions from hostile opponents in parliament.
“You simply don’t have time, as you have to take decisions quickly. You have 85 minutes in which to finish the game, and if you don’t do it within the time frame, you might get banned for a match or two,” said Ontong.
Ontong was full of praise for Paul Adams, the Nashua Cape Cobras coach. “We have had a very good working relationship the past two years,” he said. He explained that they will challenge each other and won’t always disagree, but as a team, their cohesion and success-record have been excellent.
The captain said the experience in the Cobras line-up and the presence of other leaders has been instrumental in the success of this domestic powerhouse.
The team is: Justin Ontong (capt), Hashim Amla, Justin Kemp, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Richard Levi, Aviwe Mgijima, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Zakhele Qwabe, Omphile Ramela, Stiaan Van Zyl, Dane Vilas.