Rejuvenated Vandiar thrilled to be back in the mix

Jonathan Vandiar might have spent Saturday afternoon pondering how his Fantasy League football picks might pan out, but his mind is set firmly on his cricketing reality with the Multiply Titans.

"I support Chelsea, but I've got to watch how my picks play in the other matches, he explained.

Before the football, however, Vandiar and his Titans teammates had put the finishing touches onto their preparations for the trip to Durban. The final round of the 4-Day Franchise Series presents a chance for Vandiar to go back to where it all began for him as a cricketer.

"It will be good to go back, see the family and friends. But we have an important game to play," he warned.

For Vandiar, the last few weeks have seen a welcome return to the fold. The hard yards vegan in the winter, when he slogged away and resolved to get himself in better shape - physically and mentally.

"I have worked hard. I was challenged, but it was also a personal choice. I've made a lot of changes, and I've dropped 12kg. I'm still working on dropping a few more," he added.

That change of attitude has seen him cone back strongly when called upon, as evidenced by his 84 against the Lions last week.

"It was just great to contribute towards the team," he admitted."The runs are important, but it is just really nice to be contributing for the team again."

Vandiar knows that it is a time for senior players to stand up at the Titans, as they go through as tough a patch as they have in several seasons.

"We have played some good cricket, but lost some key sessions. Like against the Cobras. The opening day was the problem for us. The vibe is still good, and we will keep working," he resolved.

Vandiar also knows that the white-ball portion of the season is coming, and he has made some of his best contributions for the Titans in light blue kit.

But, for now, the focus is on the red ball. The Titans are desperate to end the first half of the four-day claim with some momentum, and then see where they stand when they resume later in the season.

For Vandiar, the relief of being back on the park is massive, but the feeling of playing a decisive part is one that he has craved even more. In Durban, he will look to get one over some old friends.