The likes of Luus, Laura Wolvaart and Ayabonga Khaka have some T20 rhythm in their legs having participated in the Women’s T20 Challenge in India.
Johannesburg – Rather than fret over the unknown, the Proteas captain, Suné Luus feels the lack of intel about the Irish team her side faces in a three match T20 series starting on Friday, will benefit the South Africans.
Ireland are missing eight of their 20 senior players, including skipper, Laura Delany. South Africa is also missing a handful of senior players, including, Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee and Dane van Niekerk, which has provided a useful opportunity for the selectors to test the depth around the squad.
“It’s better (not knowing opponents) otherwise you start over-analysing, and thinking too much, if you don’t really know what is coming at you just play the ball as it comes,” said Luus.
It has also allowed the South African team to turn the spotlight on themselves, including the younger members of the squad and the kind of game plans they wish to employ from Friday.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) June 2, 2022
The likes of Luus, Laura Wolvaart and Ayabonga Khaka have some T20 rhythm in their legs having participated in the Women’s T20 Challenge in India, a precursor many hope to the establishment of a women’s IPL in that country.
For the rest of the squad however, the build-up has mainly centred around training sessions and the odd inter-squad game. That could impact performances in the opening match, but Luus hopes that any rustiness will be off-set by enthusiasm about playing for the national team.
“It’s always good to have a group of new players, so I’m quite excited, they are all willing to learn, it’s good to have that kind of energy. They’re young, and excited to play.”
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 30, 2022
One of those is Tumi Sekhukhune, who despite having made her debut five years ago, hasn’t really settled on the international scene.
“We have a young group of players coming in. Everyone is excited to just pick up their hands and show what they are capable of,” said the 23-year-old.
Another is all-rounder Delmi Tucker, who is on her maiden trip with the national team, and like others hoping to make an impression ahead of the marquee tour to England, and possibly push for a spot in the Commonwealth Games squad.
Tazmin Brits, who recently received her first national contract and Anneke Bosch who was unfortunate to miss out on a spot in the 50-over World Cup earlier this year because of injury, are others seeking to make an impression.
“This series will be an opportunity for players to put up their hands for the Commonwealth Games squad, we will work on combinations in this series and then in England for those T20s, to see what works.”
There is still a strong veteran core, including Luus, Wolvaardt, Shabnim Ismail, Khaka and Trisha Chetty, which make the Proteas favourites against the young Irish side.
The first ball will be bowled at 5.30pm. The match will be streamed live via www.livestream.com/CricketIrelandLive