Proteas women missing Kapp’s bowling in India

Proteas Women are missing Marizanne Kapp in the Tour of India as she gets a well deserved rest. | BackpagePix

Proteas Women are missing Marizanne Kapp in the Tour of India as she gets a well deserved rest. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 5, 2024


PERHAPS one of the reasons behind Proteas women’s winless run in the ongoing tour to India, beaten in three ODIs and one-off Test, lies in the absence of the bowling credentials of seasoned opening bowler Marizanne Kapp.

At the ripe age of 34, and taking into account Kapp’s demand and workload in all the leagues around the world, it has been a strategic move for the Proteas to give her a bit of rest, especially with the T20 World Cup around the corner. It is perhaps better to have her all-round abilities during the showpiece event in Bangladesh than to risk her fitness in a bilateral series.

Anyway, the right-handed batter has been contributing with the bat, scoring one century and a couple of crucial half-tons on tour.

“The T20 World Cup is the main thing that she has to be ready for and to make sure that she’s available for those games,” Proteas women’s captain Laura Wolvaardt told the media yesterday.

“She’s working very closely with the medical staff day-to-day. But she’s still a world-class batter, one of the best in the world. We’re very happy to have her, whatever it is she has to offer.”

This is South Africa’s final preparation for the World Cup, scheduled for October. As a result, the Proteas will be looking to field their best XI and polish their game plans.

On the batting front, the side will look to reach the 180s and 200s consistently. While on the bowling front, it will be more about being clinical throughout the innings.

“It’s our last dress rehearsal before the big occasion so we’ll be looking to play as strong an XI as we possibly can. Nail down different combinations,” said Wolvaardt.

“We’ve had a few T20 series in the last couple of tours where we’ve sort of tried one or two things and given some youngsters some opportunities, but for this one, I think we’ll be looking to play our best side and most likely side to be playing in the World Cup.

“It’s just about, for the batting unit, to find that extra 20 runs. I think throughout that Australia series we were pushing 160s but with the game nowadays, teams are scoring 180-200, especially in these conditions.

“With the ball, it’s about being more clinical and consistent throughout. With the direction the game is moving, we need to keep being brave and play positive cricket.”

Coming from a different format of the game – Test cricket – just last week, Wolvaardt and her troops will have the challenge of setting their minds back to white ball cricket.

However, the 25-year-old is adamant that they will be able to make the transition despite having a difficult preparation for the T20 series.

“The wicket looks a bit different for the T20s than in the Test – the Test we had red clay but this one looks whiter and lighter. But having never played a white ball game here before, we’ll have to see how much it turns. We’ve had one or two discussions,” she said.

“We play T20 cricket throughout the year. It’s the format we’re most exposed to and most comfortable in with all the leagues being T20 as well. Once you get into it, it’s muscle memory. It’s about adapting as quickly as we can.”

The first T20 between South Africa Women and India Women will be played today (3.30pm SA time) in Chennai.