Warriors batsman must step up - Rivash Gobind

Coach says top and middle order players must add value

Warriors batsman Edward Moore is third on the run-scoring list in South Africa domestic four-day cricket this season.
Warriors batsman Edward Moore is third on the run-scoring list in South Africa domestic four-day cricket this season.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Coach Rivash Gobind wants his batsman to step it up a gear as the Warriors start the second round of 4-Day Franchise Series against the Cape Cobras at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

As the dust settles from the hit-and-run Mzansi Super League, all six franchises will be shifting their mindset to red-ball cricket this week.

The Cobras head the standings with four wins in five matches while the Warriors, in fourth position, have only one victory to show for their efforts.

Gobind admits he felt some unease in the first half of the competition and that had mainly to do with the team’s batting.

“There are some concerns. We need to bat a lot better. We not doing as well as what we should in four-day cricket. That was a real concern for me in the first half, especially with the personnel that we've got,” Gobind said.

Attacking opener Eddie Moore is the exception at the top of the order. He is third on the competition’s run-scoring table with 451 in nine innings at an average of 56.37 per knock.

“Eddie has been the one (batsman who has performed).  I think he's made over 400 runs already. But as fantastic as his numbers are, I still believe, with his potential, he's got a lot more to offer.

Rivash Gobind
Rivash Gobind
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

“He's another one I hope gets into an A side at the end of this season. He needs to finish the rest of the four-day comp off well. So he's got a lot to play for.”

Gobind said it was up to the individuals to go out and prove their worth to the side with bat in hand.

“Our middle order has been pretty inconsistent. The quality is there. The net sessions have been good and then it's all about applying that in terms of the middle. You know what it's like, you can practice all your like, once you get out to the middle you have to turn it on.”

Gobind says two victories over the Cobras in the next few months will go some distance to closing gap at the top.

He also says the team could not have picked a better time to take on the Western Cape franchise.

“The Cobras had some fantastic momentum in the first half of the competition and that's been broken up for a month now by the MSL. So hopefully we can capitalise on that.

“We were pretty inconsistent. We put ourselves in positions to win games in the first half and didn't get over the line. We pretty lucky in that Cobras are top of the log and that we got to play them twice in our next five games.

“If we can win those two games, that's going to put us really close to them and definitely in with a shout for the remaining three.”

The squad members met on Monday and shared their experiences at their various MSL franchises.

“We had a brief chat about it yesterday about bringing all the learnings that we experienced back to the franchise,” added Gobind.

“But, also, to remind each other that we actually got something really good here in terms of team environment and what trying to build.

“So, I think that was a big eye-opener for a lot of guys . . . sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side.”

Warriors have drafted in fast bowler  Glenton Stuurman to replace injured Anrich Nortje in their squad of 12.

Warriors squad: Gihahn Cloete, Eddie Moore, Jon-Jon Smuts (capt), Yaseen Vallie, Simon Harmer, Colin Ackermann, Basheer Walters, Sisanda Magala, Clyde Fortuin, Sinethemba Qeshile, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman

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