For the Multiply Titans, the past fortnight has been a period of rebuilding. After a rocky start, their Momentum One-Day Cup campaign is back on track, and they are looking forward to a strong finish.
Central to that revival has been the glittering form of Aiden Markram, who has come back to the franchise from the Standard Bank Proteas squad with a vengeance.
Markram has made a sterling argument for his inclusion in the ICC World Cup squad, with consecutive centuries against the WSB Cape Cobras and the Warriors recently.
“I was sort of in the grey a week ago,” the top-order man admitted.
“You sit and think about all sorts of things when you’re out of form. Things that you shouldn’t be thinking about, but the two scores have helped me get quite a bit of clarity on my own game plan and the way I construct my innings. That is something very important to me, so I’m very happy and thankful that it happened,” he admitted.
Markram also added that though he prefers batting at the top of the order, he was learning to adapt to the demands of coming in at four or five.
“If I had to choose at the moment, I would say the top of the order. Anywhere in the top three, really, but it’s nice to develop your game at four and five. Obviously the more you do it, the more you become familiar with it.”
His own form has seen the Titans notch some serious wins on the road, including a bonus-point triumph over the Cobras. Add to that their win over the Warriors, which was a first loss of the tournament for the defending champions.
The past weekend has seemingly galvanised the Titans, and they now have a spring in their step.
“Look, we’ve been in a few spots of bother in the last few games, but that’s where character comes through and the guys pull together. We got ourselves out of trouble,” Markram enthused.
That show of solidarity has meant a lot to the team as a whole, but the senior players especially have taken pride in that revival.
“It’s a great thing to see and something that you need to be able to do if you are going to be a trophy wining side. It’s a positive for the side and the culture has always been strong,” he added.
Next up for the Titans is a return fixture against the Warriors, in Benoni on Friday afternoon. The men from PE gave a decent account of themselves on Sunday, even under the weight of massive scoreboard pressure. Markram and the Titans expect a response from Jon-Jon Smuts and his men.
“We know they fight tooth and nail. They’re an in-form side in white ball cricket over the past few seasons. They really know how to go about winning games, so we are going to have to be at our best and play good cricket from ball one.”
A key element of the Titans last two victories have been the excellent surfaces that they have played on.
They are expecting something similarly encouraging in Benoni.
“It’s normally pretty good. The last game I remember was the invitational against Sri Lanka, which was pretty high scoring. That is exciting for us batters. It’s the Highveld, so the ball travels quite a bit. We need to get back to making Benoni a fortress as SuperSport Park is for us,” Markram challenged.
“Whatever the conditions are tomorrow, as a side we’re going to have to adapt well and put our best foot forward.”
Multiply Titans squad to face the Warriors: Heinrich Klaasen, Farhaan Behardien, Gregory Mahlokwana, Imraan Manack, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram, Tshepo Moreki, Chris Morris, Alfred Mothoa, Grant Thomson, Jonathan Vandiar.