Lions coach Geoff Toyana will have the hardest job in cricket at the Wanderers on Wednesday: find a way to beat the Titans.
Halfway through the league stage of the T20 competition the closest the Titans have come to losing was in Benoni on Friday‚ when their game against the Dolphins was washed out.
So‚ is Toyana praying for rain? Not a bit of it. "We’re playing at home and we always play good cricket at the Wanderers‚" he said on Monday.
But the Lions have lost three of their five games — one of which was an eight-wicket thumping by the Titans at Centurion on November 12.
"At crucial times we’ve made dumb decisions‚" Toyana said.
Theoretically, the Titans can still be caught at the top of the log‚ but the 21 points they have is more than double that earned by the second-placed Dolphins.
We’re like France [in rugby] and Pakistan [in cricket]: we’ve got multiple personalities
And one has to wonder whether the Durbanites’ three washouts is a factor in their success. That and keeping the opposition guessing.
"We sometimes win the ones we shouldn’t win and then lose the ones we should win‚" Dolphins coach Grant Morgan said.
"We’re like France [in rugby] and Pakistan [in cricket]: we’ve got multiple personalities."
The Titans could not be more different. Opponents know exactly what they’re going to get — although they do not know exactly who will turn up. "They’ve made three or four changes every game‚" Toyana said‚ sounding almost envious at the notion of such luxury.
But that is what happens when a team can field an XI studded with AB de Villiers‚ Quinton de Kock‚ Farhaan Behardien and Dean Elgar.
So much so that the Titans have not felt the injury-enforced absence of Faf du Plessis‚ Morné Morkel and Chris Morris.
They also have not complained about Dale Steyn quietly exiting the tournament after three games to concentrate on his match fitness for the longer formats as he continues his comeback from injury.
But it is part of Toyana’s job to stay positive‚ and he was not about to concede superiority to the boys in blue. "I believe I’ve got the best bowling attack in the country and we can push them‚" he said.
A key member of that attack is Kagiso Rabada‚ who would seem to be leading by example on and off the field.
"His presence in the dressingroom has been exemplary‚" Toyana said. "He’s definitely shown he’s an international player; he adds a lot."
Rabada is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with eight scalps at an average of 15.37 and an economy rate of 6.7. Thing is‚ he might need to take all 10 for none if the Lions are to beat the Titans at the Wanderers on Wednesday. Failing that‚ pray for rain.