Home Sport Cricket Proteas Women batting coach pleased with how the batters are applying themselves

Proteas Women batting coach pleased with how the batters are applying themselves

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Baakier Abrahams said the team’s improved scoring rate was a result of the conversations and new batting philosophies developed in pre-tour camps in Pretoria last month, which saw them end on 321/6 in a valiant chase of India’s 325/3 in the second ODI in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Sune Luus of South Africa is just one of the SA batters who are already showing glimpses of applying the new, positive mindset in the Proteas camp. Picture: EPA, DAN HIMBRECHTS

LOOKING from the outside in, it is easy to view the Proteas Women’s 143-run loss to India in the first ODI – where they were bowled out for 122 chasing 300-plus – and think there are major concerns around the group.

However, that would be a shallow diagnosis, given that Wednesday’s ODI series loss to India was only their second in the six series they have played in the last year.

A closer look at the side’s returns will show they have scored two 300-plus totals in the last three innings, and at a quicker rate since batting coach Baakier Abrahams got involved with the side.

Laura Wolvaardt alone has scored 11 sixes in her ODI career, seven of those in the last three games.

Abrahams said the team’s improved scoring rate was a result of the conversations and new batting philosophies developed in pre-tour camps in Pretoria last month, which saw them end on 321/6 in a valiant chase of India’s 325/3 in the second ODI in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Wolvaardt hit an unbeaten 135 off 135 balls (12×4, 3×6) and Marizanne Kapp 114 off just 94 deliveries (11×4, 3×6), but the South Africans fell four runs short of victory.

The third and final ODI is set for Sunday in Bengaluru.

“The first thing we needed to uncover with the group was what style of cricket they wanted to play,” Abrahams said.

“You want to empower players to come up with concepts. In that way, they take a little bit more ownership in terms of the implementation. From there, it follows on into how are we going to go about doing that.

“Then there’s two things that come to the fore – developing the skill-set that goes and the tactical side of things – because at the end of the day, you still have to understand your own game and how that applies to our philosophy.

“Encouraging them to continue evolving in terms of new skills and new options they can implement to allow that style and brand of cricket to take place.

“When you try to take positive options at every possible opportunity, every now and then you are going to get a blow-out, like in game one.

“In our review of that, the ladies were honest enough to say they never really applied our principles, hence you saw 122 in 37 overs.”

“So, they were very adamant that they wanted to put that right in game two. It was good that the game showed itself up in terms of having to chase 300. I think that in itself freed them up.”

Apart from Wolvaardt, Kapp and Tazmin Brits, who have scored at least one century in the past two series (against Sri Lanka and India), the other batters have been in a lean patch.

Abrahams said that what most was the improved intent from the likes of Anneke Bosch and Suné Luus.

“Yes, they did not get the volume of runs, but on review, if you look at some of the shot options and how early they took those options in terms of their innings, to me, that was significant for the group,” he said.

“Anneke and Suné have already shown glimpses of applying that mindset. I think there’s no doubt that they’ve got the skill-set. It’s now about instilling the confidence … it’s about instilling the freedom.

“If you watch Suné’s innings, it might have only been 13 balls, but if you look at her second ball, they got close to her and she hit it straight over the top for four.

“And then they came straight into her legs, and she showed that necessary intent and hit that for four through midwicket. And then they bowled a spinner, and she got inside the line and paddled because there was no short fine-leg.

“Those are the concepts that you are already starting to see unfold in these players.

Now it’s a matter of doing it long enough and the runs will eventually accumulate.”

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