Luus has strong case for inclusion in T20 World Cup

THE possible return of Sune Luus to the Proteas Women is one of the topics to ponder for the coaching staff ahead of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. AFP

THE possible return of Sune Luus to the Proteas Women is one of the topics to ponder for the coaching staff ahead of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. AFP

Published Jul 11, 2024


THE Proteas Women’s capitulation in the final T20 international against India this week could possibly open the door for former captain Sune Luus’ return.

It is just over a year ago that Luus led the Proteas to a best-ever runners-up position at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil.

But while her leadership skills were admirable, Luus’ individual performances were not up to scratch.

She rarely bowls her leg-spinners any more, while her form with the bat has nosedived over the past 12 months.

Luus has managed to accumulate just 75 runs in her last eight T20I innings for an average of just 10.71.

It is for this reason that national convener of selectors Clinton du Preez was forced to drop the 117-match T20I veteran for the recent series against India, which was shared 1-1.

Instead, the Proteas opted for a trio of seam bowling all-rounders in the middle order that comprised Nadine de Klerk and the youthful duo of Annerie Dercksen and Elize-Marie Marx.

The experiment did not quite yield the desired results, although Dercksen showed a glimpse of her potential with three boundaries towards the latter stages of the Proteas’ innings in the second T20.

But with the Proteas being rolled for 84 in the series decider at the Chepauk Stadium, and Luus returning to batting form in the one-off Test with a maiden century prior to the T20 series, there is a feeling that the 28-year-old’s experience could be a motivating factor for her inclusion in the starting XI at the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in October.

“It will be up to the selection panel back home and what they think, not just myself, but with this being our last games before the World Cup, I’d like to think that was close to what we would have in the squad,” captain Laura Wolvaardt said.

“She (Luus) is such a veteran of the game in SA cricket. She has played more than 100 games, so the experience and knowledge that she has with the bat is invaluable.

“We have tried it now with having a few all-rounders in the middle order.

“I think one decision we will have to make, based on conditions, is whether to play an extra batter, all-rounder or spinner in Bangladesh.”

Wolvaardt also remained upbeat despite her team not being able to close out the T20 series in India with a win, which would have been her first series success since taking over the leadership reins from Luus.

The skipper believes her team is making significant strides, particularly in the batting department, and that the blowout in the last match was part of the learning curve.

“I’m very happy with the series and we will take a lot of learnings from it,” said Wolvaardt, who passed 6 000 international runs during the match.

“We are happy with how we batted in the first two games. The positive intent was there and we have been making a lot of good strides in our batting, so I don’t want this one game to set us back with that.

“We have spoken about being a lot more positive as a batting unit, and it came off in the first two games, it is just about when it is not quite there early on.”

Wolvaardt and all-rounders Marizanne Kapp and Chloe Tryon are heading straight to England, where they will play for the Manchester Originals, Oval Invincibles and Southern Brave in The Hundred competition.

The remainder of the Proteas squad will return to South Africa, where they will enjoy a fortnight of rest and recuperation before regathering for a camp early next month.