The Proteas Women must have faith in their abilities, back themselves to beat England and create a bit of history, says Marizanne Kapp.
The three-match ODI series stands at 1-1 after South Africa trounced England in the first match, winning by seven wickets, before a comprehensive bounce-back, in which the host nation scored 331 runs and levelled the series.
They meet in Canterbury on Friday in a day-night match with South Africa in a strong position to challenge the world champions and earn their first series win in England.
‘We’re a bit disappointed with our previous performance. I don’t think we rocked up,’ said Kapp.
The issue, she says, is one of confidence
‘We know we’ve got really skilful players and that we’re a really good side, but I think it’s just up in the head. We don’t always believe that we are really good, but if we come out with a clear mindset and with the same belief that we had in the first game then we’ll come out on top.’
Winning would do wonders for the whole psyche of the team, says the veteran all-rounder.
‘It will be yet another move in the right direction. Something like this will just help us get better and better and become more consistent.
‘Skill-wise we’re up there with anyone in the world. I think sometimes teams like England and Australia just have greater belief; almost like an arrogance that they know they are gonna beat you. If we can start having that same confidence in our own skills and talents and going out and playing with that kind of mindset, I don’t think anyone is going to be able to stop us.’
There is no doubt the Proteas Women have the firepower, as demonstrated by their excellent showing in the 2017 World Cup, held in England, during which they beat India and Sri Lanka while scoring more than 300 runs in a losing chase against England. They were beaten with two balls to spare in the semi-final, and it is that spirit which needs to be revived.
‘I think we lack that fight that we had in the 2017 World Cup; we need to get that back,’ she said. ‘It’s not always gonna go your way, but it’s how you come back after losing like we did in the previous game that will count. It’s about rocking up, playing as if we’ve got nothing to lose and just fighting to the end.
‘With these conditions and batting wickets that we get these days, you can’t back down when there’s a big score on the board, especially with our batting line-up and with the big hitters that we have, we should actually be making 300 plus scores on a consistent basis.’
There is, too, the need to start winning these ICC World Cup qualifying matches to be among the top four nations and gain automatic entry into the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. They won just one of the three matches when India toured South Africa and need to get on a roll.
The ODI will be broadcast live on SuperSport 6 from 2:45pm.