A lot of the coach’s confidence stems from the fact that both of them played in the Momentum One-Day Cup campaign and scored centuries, while Agathagelou, at 28-years-old, is an experienced, well-travelled cricketer who has played 29 four-day matches already in his career, for Lancashire, Leicestershire and the Highveld Lions, and Moonsamy is considered one of the brightest young talents at SuperSport Park.
“My goal is to try and get as many players as possible into the national squad, so we’ve lost a few, but the guys coming in all had a bit of a run in the Momentum One-Day Cup, so it won’t be a big change for them playing at the upper level.
“I’ve just tried to get our best batsmen in the team, Rivaldo did nicely in the one-day cup and will keep, while for Aggers there’s not much difference batting two or three. The new personnel has the opportunity to go out and prove they belong, and it’s a nice way to look at the younger generation,” said Boucher.
While the profusion of top-order batsmen in the squad means Boucher will have to juggle his resources to find the best fit, he also faces a couple of decisions in terms of the composition of his attack. Does he go with the more consistent lines and lengths of Alfred Mothoa or the pace of Junior Dala, while the pacy Migael Pretorius, the controlled Corbin Bosch and swing bowler Eldred Hawken are competing for one place.
The rest of the Titans line-up is predictable, with leg-spinner Shaun von Berg having a pivotal role to play and Malusi Siboto, who is enjoying a fine campaign with 17 wickets at 21.35 as well as averaging 40 with the bat, and left-arm quick Rowan Richards returning to fulfil their important roles in the four-day outfit.
“There’s no reason we can’t still win the game if we perform to our best and scrap well. The bowling attack is quite strong, we have lots of options, and if we take it one session at a time, with the first session on the first morning being the most important, then we can do well.
“The key is not to complicate things too much, keep it nice and simple and make sure we are sending the youngsters clear messages so there’s no panic under pressure. The senior players have a massive role in terms of keeping their heads because the Cobras also have a good bunch of cricketers and depth, we will have to be at our best to beat them and it’s about bringing the execution now,” said Boucher.