Wolvaardt: India tour quite an experience for young Proteas

Captain Laura Wolvaardt hopes that the Proteas Women will do a better job in India, particularly in the one-off Test. Photo: BackpagePix

Captain Laura Wolvaardt hopes that the Proteas Women will do a better job in India, particularly in the one-off Test. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 7, 2024


INTERIM Proteas Women head coach Dillon du Preez and captain Laura Wolvaardt will lead the troops during the tour of India with the T20 World Cup in mind, as it is set to get underway in Bangladesh this September.

The SA team head over to India tomorrow for a multi-format tour that will see the side compete in three One-Day Internationals, three T20Is and a one-off Four-Day Test in Bangalore and Chennai.

For a side that have struggled in sub-continent conditions – slow and turning wickets – and against sub-continent teams, having lost a T20I series to Pakistan and Sri Lanka last summer, the upcoming tour to India is a perfect scenario for them, especially with the World Cup being on the sub-continent as well.

In a pre-departure press conference yesterday, Wolvaardt told the media that spending time in India will work in their favour, especially with the T20 World Cup looming.

“For us, this is the perfect tour leading up to the World Cup in Bangladesh,” said Wolvaardt. “I think spending as much time as we can in the sub-continent is only going to do well for us.”

Wolvaardt will lead a team with a number of youngsters who will be travelling to India for the first time, as 21-year-old Eliz-Mari Marx and 19-year-old Ayanda Hlubi earned a place in the touring squad.

With the Women’s Indian Premier League having concluded only a few months ago, won by Bengaluru-based RCB, Wolvaardt foresees a unique and vital experience for the youngsters in that the crowds will potentially come out in numbers due to the hype around women’s cricket in that city.

For the senior players as well, the crowds in India will prepare them for the pressure and atmosphere that is expected at the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

“I think our youngsters who haven’t been there, it will be quite an experience for them – especially Bangalore (Bengaluru), having just had the WPL final there, having RCB win,” said Wolvaardt.

“I think there will be quite a lot of hype around women’s cricket, and probably a decent crowd in some of the games. It will be an awesome experience just to get used to the noise, and I think that will be perfect preparation for Bangladesh.”

— Proteas Women (@ProteasWomenCSA) May 24, 2024

This will be South Africa’s third trip away from home in the past 10 months, having toured Pakistan for the first time last summer and Australia earlier this year.

In Pakistan, the side won the ODI series 2-1, were whitewashed 3-0 in the T20I series and went on to lose in all three formats Down Under.

Wolvaardt hopes the team will do a better job in India, particularly in the Test, despite not having played a red-ball game in that part of the world before.

“We’ll look to break (the tour) down quite a bit. The Test match has a lot of points up for grabs for the multi-formats, so winning that gives you a huge edge within the whole series,” said Wolvaardt.

“Going into India, I’ve never played a Test match, and I don’t think anyone in the group has played a Test match there before, so it will be a huge challenge for us.

“ODIs, there’s World Cup points up for grabs, so winning that series will be what we’ll be looking to do.

“And it’s the same with the T20s, with the World Cup just around the corner. I think that’s the main focus – to play our best T20 XI, and get as many wins as we can.

“Each format has its importance. A multi-format win would be awesome, especially with the tour being away.”

Proteas Women Squad

Laura Wolvaardt (captain), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Annerie Dercksen, Mieke de Ridder, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka (ODI only), Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Eliz-Mari Marx, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, ⁠Delmi Tucker.

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