Jacques Kallis wants Pretoria Capitals to be at summit of SA20

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Faf du Plessis and Romario Shepherd of Joburg Super Kings celebrate right after taking a crucial catch and 2nd last wicket of the Pretoria Capitals during the Betway SA20 match between Joburg Super Kings and Pretoria Capitals at Wanderers Stadium. Photo: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images
Faf du Plessis and Romario Shepherd of Joburg Super Kings celebrate right after taking a crucial catch and 2nd last wicket of the Pretoria Capitals during the Betway SA20 match between Joburg Super Kings and Pretoria Capitals at Wanderers Stadium. Photo: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images

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Pretoria Capitals assistant coach Jacques Kallis wants the team to notch up a win that will take them back to the top of the SA20 League log table and stay there ahead of the league’s break later this month, to allow for the ODI series between South Africa and England in Bloemfontein and Kimberley.

The three-match series against England, which forms part of the qualifying journey for the Cricket World Cup in India later this year, will be played in Bloemfontein and Kimberley from January 27 to February 1.

The Capitals, who lost their first match as they went down to Jukskei rivals the Joburg Super Kings at the Wanderers on Tuesday evening, will face off against the same opposition at their home patch of SuperSport Park in Centurion a day later, on Wednesday.

The SA20 started on January 10 and there have been matches every day. The tournament will grind to a halt on January 24 and resume on February 2.

After Wednesday’s second leg of the Jukskei derby, the Capitals would have played Durban's Super Giants at Kingsmead in Durban, Paarl Royals in the Boland, and MI Cape Town at Newlands by the time the league breaks for the Proteas home series against England.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 17: Romario S
Romario Shepherd of Joburg Super Kings celebrates the wicket of Adil Rashid of Pretoria Capitals. Photo: SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images

The SA20 break will allow England players involved in the inaugural league, including T20 World Cup-winning captain Jos Buttler, to represent their country.

READ: Why Proteas could lose talent to T20 leagues

Said Kallis after the Capitals lost to the Super Kings by six runs:

Yeah, it would be nice to get a good run of form before we have that break so that we get ahead of the rest of the pack.

“You don’t want to play catch-up going to the back end. The guys are certainly talking about that aspect.”

If we can go into that break ahead of the pack it will certainly put us in a good position going forward, where we won’t panic towards the end.

The Capitals beat Sunrisers Eastern Cape away in Gqeberha and again at home in Centurion last week before they came unstuck against the Super Kings in Johannesburg.

The defeat means that every team has now lost a match in this tournament but, while the other five have lost twice each, the Capitals have only lost once.

Kallis said there were aspects the Capitals had picked up from their loss which will need some improvements in the corresponding fixture: 

We just need to get partnerships going and perhaps be a little bit more clinical with our death bowling.

With matches played every single day, and the Capitals preparing for their second match in two days, the players may start to feel a little bit of strain on their bodies.

Kallis said the team that manages their players better will not be fazed by the congested schedule.

“I think it is a tough schedule, but it is not like we are the only team. It is the same for every team and it is not an excuse we’re going to use.

READ: Conrad and Walter set to be unveiled as Proteas’ coaches

“It has to make you strong, and the guys need to be up for it and obviously do their work off the field, whether with ice baths or fitness trainers and physios, just to make sure they are ready for the game.

“I expect another tough match tomorrow and hopefully the people come out to support. The support in the stadiums has been really good so far. When you’ve got a good product like this and good players and playing the brand of cricket that is entertaining, people will come and watch.

“Each team can beat every team. I think every team has lost a game now. So, it just shows you that you can’t just pitch up and expect to win the game.”


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