“It is vitally important that we score big in the first innings and set up the match in this fashion. We don’t want to play catch-up cricket," said coach Paul Adams.
“In the first few matches, we scored big centuries in the first innings and recorded a win, while we were one wicket away from victory against Easterns,” said Adams.
About Bird, Adams said he scored a maiden List A century in his first one-day match for Western Province. "He has got a big presence at the crease."
Observers who have watched Bird closely, applauds his ability to clear the boundary with ease and his ability against pace. He recently scored 106 for Western Province against Border in the first match of the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola week and was selected for the South African U19 team to play against India after the Coke-week and the Cubs-week.
“It is important at Western Province that we keep nurturing our pipeline,” said Adams.
George Linde, who had been part of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras’ squad of thirteen, is available and he and the young off-spinner Luke Philander will be possible weapons for Western Province, while Andre Malan, Justin Dill, Mpilo Njoloza, Renaldo Meyer, Mihali Mpongwana and Michael Cohen will be part of a strong fast bowling unit.
Adams is keen for the batsmen and the bowlers to do the basics brilliantly and for the top-order to be the catalysts of a big first-innings score.
They have been hard at training the past few weeks and want to hit the second half of the season running and don’t want to be caught napping.
Linde in the role of batting all-rounder will be a vital factor in the middle-order to stabilize the number six and five position in tandem with the skipper, Andre Malan.
The Western Province squad is: Andre Malan (capt), Jonathan Bird, Michael Cohen, Isaac Dikgale, Justin Dill, Carlos Koyana, George Linde, Renaldo Meyer, Neo Mlumbi, Mihali Mpongwana, Jack Newby, Mpilo Njoloza, Luke Philander.