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Proteas looking to end their dismal England tour on a high against Sri Lanka

Proteas captain Sune Luus

Proteas captain Sune Luus. Photo: Graham Hunt/ProSports/Shutterstock/BackpagePix

Published Aug 3, 2022

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Johannesburg — With nothing but pride at stake, the Proteas will look to end their England tour on a high in the final Commonwealth Games group clash against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston on Thursday.

It’s been a dreadful tour, both on and off the field, where just about the only positives have been the exposure some players have gotten to playing the game in the spotlight at the elite level.

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What have they, the coaching staff and Cricket South Africa learned? That answer to that will become apparent in the coming months. There is no doubt however, that the team has to improve, in terms of mindset, style of play and attitude.

The Proteas can ill-afford to rest on their laurels. The T20 World Cup will be held in South Africa next summer and the changes that need to be made need to happen quickly. All of that of course can unpacked once the team gets home and a thorough debrief is conducted.

The new Director of Cricket, Enoch Nkwe, is in England where he was due to meet with the coaching staff and players. Hopefully he’ll have a clearer understanding of their needs and while he’s already spoken publicly about some of the bigger plans that need to be put in place, in the short term, given the World Cup is mere months away, some kind of programme needs to be drawn up with that competition in mind.

As for Thursday, the players could do with giving themselves a good memory from the tour. They haven’t won a match yet in England and their best performances have been patchy.

Chloe Tryon has been the best player, while Laura Wolvaardt has been Okay. The rest have been very inconsistent. Besides Tryon and Wolvaardt, the batting has lacked intent, with boundary hitting a particular problem, while with the ball it’s been a case of the odd good performance mixed in with several dreadful ones.

The fielding has been very, very bad.

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Winning on Thursday won’t resolve the problems but it will lighten the spirits. The Sri Lankans are a young team, who’ve played with a lot of energy, but lacked the skills to trouble England and New Zealand.

South Africa should be too good for them, although as skipper Sune Luus mentioned after the Proteas’ defeat by England, the mood inside the camp wasn’t good. It’s understandable that there’ll be a ‘one foot on the plane’ syndrome that is setting in, but that needs to be fought.

While winning would be a tiny gain after the last few weeks, perhaps using the match as the first of the building blocks towards the World Cup will serve as a source of motivation, along with playing for pride too.

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Thursday’s match starts at noon SA time.

SQUADS

South Africa: Suné Luus (capt), Chloé Tryon, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits , Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Delmi Tucker, Laura Wolvaardt

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Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (capt), Nilakshi de Silva, Vishmi Gunaratne, Kivisha Dilhari, Ama Kanchana, Achini Kulasuriya, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera, Anushka Sanjeewani, Malsha Shehani, Rasmi Silva

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