When the Titans take the field in Friday’s domestic T20 final against the Warriors in Centurion, they can be chuffed about two things.
They’ve definitely been the best side in this season’s tournament.
And, perhaps more satisfyingly, they provide the benchmark for coping with Cricket South Africa’s stringent quota requirements.
The fast-bowling trio of Malusi Siboto, Junior Dala and Lungi Ngidi have not only played in almost all of the Titans’ matches but also taken 30 wickets between them.
In other words, these three players haven’t only been given an extended opportunity – they’ve been key players.
“Their attitudes have been fantastic,” said Titans coach Mark Boucher on Thursday.
“It’s always good to have players in your side with different attitudes. Malusi is one of the most experienced bowlers in franchise cricket, Junior has the typical energy of a fast bowler and young Lungi is like a sponge. He’s keen to learn.
“It’s nice combination of players. They complement each other well.”
In a system where many teams seem to concentrate on merely meeting CSA’s requirements – three black African players must be included in every game – the Titans have do it differently.
They’ve realised black players not only need opportunities.
They need to flourish as well.
Siboto (12 wickets), Dala (11) and Ngidi (7) certainly have.
“Their skill levels are pretty high,” said Boucher.
“They’re also completely different bowlers, which means they give (captain) Albie Morkel different options.
“In fact, Albie has the luxury of deciding who of those three are most suitable to bowling to different types of batsmen. They’ve really played well this season.”
But the former Proteas wicketkeeper knows that will count for nothing if they don’t deliver Friday evening.
“The guys are fully aware they need to rock up and perform again,” said Boucher.
“But they’re eager to do so. It’s amazing how far attitude with a bit of talent can bring you.”