The Titans and the Lions played out a hard-fought draw in Potchefstroom last Sunday, a match that was hampered by rain, which washed out day three on Saturday. “I had my first taste of the Jukskei derby’ and it was quite heated, but it was fantastic to watch,” said Boucher.
The Titans, having lost their first two matches, find themselves at the top of the Sunfoil Series log as the four-day competition takes a hiatus to allow the T20 Challenge to be played. “We were probably playing a bit of hangover cricket’ from the season before,” Boucher said of the Titans’ sluggish start to the competition, which they won last season.
“We had some great talks, especially after the loss in PE (in the Titans’ second match against the Warriors). We shared some honest opinions about where we found ourselves as a team. We picked up our game big time in our training and the way we wanted to play - the positive brand we felt we could play - instead of talking about it, we walked the walk.”
They followed that up with wins against the Dolphins and the Cape Cobras, propelling them to the top of the log. “We are a work in progress and we are going in the right direction now.
“Domestic cricket probably gets played at a level of about 60 percent, and international cricket is between 80 and 100 percent. I’ve had a word with the guys about getting the intensity nice and high because that will bode well for them when they maybe play for the Proteas one day,” said Boucher.
“You want that intensity nice and high, playing at that level, you’re thinking about the game... it’s not just physical intensity it’s mental intensity as well, then as a team we’ll be in a lot better space and a lot more prepared to win games.”
The Titans believe the momentum built up in the last three rounds of the Sunfoil Series will prove helpful when they start the defence of their T20 crown at the Bullring.’
“It is a big game,” Boucher said of Saturday’s match. “It won’t be ideal to start off in the way we started the Sunfoil Series. We’ll do what we can to prepare in the right way.”
The Titans, despite a number of changes that include the losses of Graeme van Buuren (overseas), Chris Morris (injury), Mangaliso Mosehle (signed by the Lions), still look like a strong side. “We’ve got good players, just look at our middle order, we can certainly surprise a few teams,” remarked Boucher.
As for AB de Villiers possibly playing a part, Boucher said he’d welcome him with open arms, obviously. “My biggest concern with AB is to get him ready for the Proteas. If he feels he wants a game for the Titans, if it benefits him playing a game for the Titans, so be it, it will benefit us as well.”
Original source: Boucher wants fast start to T20 defence