Clash of the old brigade in CLT20 opener
The opening match of the Champions League T20 will be held between the Titans and Perth Scorchers, both of whom have lot of experience in their respective squads in terms of matches as well as when it comes to age. It would be thus interesting to see how they compare against the younger sides in the tournament. For a start though, they will have to compete against each other. Even though the T20 format is promoted as one for the younger brigade, a number of the elder statesmen of the game have done well in the same. Hence, it wouldn’t be surprising if Titans and Scorchers come up with an impressive showing.
Champions League Twenty20 2012, Group A: Titans Vs Perth Scorchers at Centurion, Oct 13, 2012
Series: Champions League T20 2012
Time: 13:30 local time (11:30 GMT | 5 PM IST | 4:30 PM PKT)
Venue: Played at SuperSport Park, Centurion
Team Titans analysis
The South African side will be led by former national player Martin van Jaarsveld. Although the 38-year-old’s South Africa days seem behind him, he will be keen to make a mark in this championship, to prove that he was underrated as a national player. Jaarsveld has the ability to hit the big strokes, but it remains to be seen whether age has affected his batting. Also, how he leads the side would also be crucial since the squad contains players much senior and more pedigreed to him in terms of experience.
Although A B de Villiers has been retained in the squad, he won’t be able to feature in the early part of the tournament as he is recuperating from injury. This must have come as a big blow for the Titans, but the other big names in the squad have to ensure that the temporary loss doesn’t blur their chances in the tournament. Roelof van der Merwe will be the man Titans would look forward to for inspiration. The all- rounder can keep things tight whilst picking key wickets with his left-arm spin. He’s more than handy with the bat, and in the field he will possibly be the most electrifying mover. Others would be expected to put their hands up include Jacques Rudolph and Alfonso Thomas.
Team Scorchers analysis
Like Titans, Scorchers will be led by an old hand whose Australian days also seem behind him, Marcus North. The 33-year-old left-hander represented his country in Tests and had mixed fortunes, but T20 will be a different cup of tea. That he has been named captain is indicative of the fact that he has adapted his game to this format. Whether his batting and leadership skills are good enough to survive against teams from other countries remains to be seen.
In terms of experience and talent, Scorchers would believe they have the men to beat Titans. Herschelle Gibbs and Paul Collingwood may no longer in the plans of their national squads, but they would be keen to deliver in what is being called the tournament of champions. Two men who could be crucial for their cause are the Marsh brothers – Mitchell and Shaun. Both have proved to be extremely effective in this format, and were in great from for the Scorchers during the Big Bash League.
Scorchers hold a slight edge, but Titans would like to inspire themselves by seeking ‘home’ support.
--By A Cricket Analyst