Jozi Stars say finding their best team form is around the corner
Jozi Stars coach Enoch Nkwe says finding their best form is a matter of when and not if as the Mzansi Super League log starts to take shape.
The Stars will be playing in their third home game when they host fellow struggling Durban Heat at the Wanderers on Friday evening.
The Stars are on five points and the Heat on four and are placed second from bottom and bottom respectively after four games each.
The Stars have been well beaten in their other two home games by the log leaders Cape Town Blitz and second-placed Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
Their sole win was a comprehensive one against the Paarl Rocks while the Tshwane Spartans pipped them to the post on Wednesday afternoon.
Nkwe said they understood the need to be unbeatable at home as they have a stretch of three away games before closing off their campaign with a run of two home games, including the upcoming game, in the pool stages.
“Finding our best team is around the corner and I think we're one or two games away from that.
"We're just hoping that we can put it together on Friday at home. We'll be going on the road soon so I hope we do well and come back and finish things off here‚” Nkwe said.
“It's important that we get a good win at home because that'll mean the world to us. It'll mean we can play well at home.”
Nkwe bemoaned his team's inability to stay fully focused in the contest‚ especially in the matches they lost.
They had a power-packed all-round performance when the crushed the Rocks.
However‚ the Giants‚ Blitz and Spartans comfortably outmanoeuvred them. Nkwe said they needed to channel the Paarl performance (where they scored 209) into the next six games of their tournament.
“We've let ourselves down in key moments and in T20 cricket‚ things do happen very quickly. If we fall asleep for one‚ two or even three overs‚ the game can get away.
"It's a matter of putting the puzzle together all at once like we did in Paarl. If we can do that again on a consistent basis‚ we'll give ourselves a chance of doing well later in the competition‚” Nkwe said.
Nkwe also said Kagiso Rabada is starting to find his groove after a slow start to the tournament.
Rabada missed the opening game defeat to the Giants and has bowled intermittently well.
Rabada's international workload has been intense this season but Nkwe said he saw signs of Rabada's best in Wednesday's defeat against the Spartans.
“He did admit that he's slowly getting back into it and the strong feeling he's always had is coming back. He's been working hard and has been bowling a lot of overs and working on specific skills.
"As a coach‚ I've seen a lot of improvement in the small steps that he's taken‚” Nkwe said.
“In the Spartans game‚ you could see he was somewhere near his best but also having him in the team has been superb.
"In the team though we can't just look at him. We need to look at other bowlers and how they can contribute to the team.”