The Proteas Women are keen to switch gears as they prepare to face West Indies in a five-match T20I series starting in Barbados on Monday.
After a disappointing end to their ODI campaign, which saw them draw the ICC Women’s Championship series 1-1, the Proteas Women are excited at the prospect of competing against the West Indies Women in the shorter format of the game, which team captain Dane van Niekerk says is right up their ally.
‘We enjoy T20 cricket – the mindset changes and I know it does as well for the West Indies so it’s going to make for a very good series,’ said Van Niekerk. ‘I want the girls to stay positive and excited for the format. It’s shorter, first of all, in this heat and it’s a lot more attacking. With the focus and excitement that we like to approach every match with, I’m hopeful that, as a team, we can rectify what we did in the last ODI.’
South Africa suffered a comprehensive 115-run loss in the third ODI on Saturday, enabling the West Indies to draw the series and, with only one day to recover before their next match, Van Niekerk believed it was important for the team to recover mentally in order to be prepared to face a new format and all that comes with it.
With the home team holding the ICC Women’s World T20 defending champions title, the Proteas have an added incentive to play well as the tournament takes place in the West Indies this November.
‘We took a break yesterday as the bodies needed it but, more importantly for me, the minds needed it as well. Today the girls look refreshed and more importantly happy and excited to start this new phase. T20 cricket is a team favourite and we have a lot to play for and prepare for with the World T20 coming up soon. We can’t say we don’t know the conditions, we just need to get our plans spot on and win the series.
‘We know how devastating they [West Indies] can be, especially with the bat and we know what brand of cricket they play. What better preparation for us before a World Cup than playing the defending champs in their own backyard where the World Cup is going to be? If we can get a really good result, that’s just amazing momentum for us going into the tournament,’ Van Niekerk concluded.
The series will be streamed live at www.windiescricket.com from 7:30pm (SAST) with updates available on Cricket South Africa’s social media platforms on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cricketsouthafrica) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/officialcsa).
Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province)
Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal)
Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
Lizelle Lee (North West)
Suné Luus (Northerns)
Mignon du Preez (Northerns)
Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province)
Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng)
Masabata Klaas (North West)
Zintle Mali (Border)
Faye Tunnicliffe (Boland)
Robyn Searle (Gauteng)
Tumi Sekhukhune (Easterns)
Saarah Smith (Western Province)
1st T20I – Kensington Oval – Monday, 24 September
2nd T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy – Friday, 28 September
3rd T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy – Sunday, 30 September
4th T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy – Wednesday, 3 October
5th T20I – Brian Lara Cricket Academy – Saturday, 6 October
Photo: Sune Luus (Instagram)