CAPE TOWN - Bowling spearhead Shabnim Ismail believes the Proteas’ Women’s team’s much-feared pace attack will still be a threat in the West Indies despite the slow pitches expected.
The Momentum Proteas kick start their Caribbean tour with the opening T20I on Tuesday (8pm) SA time at Sir Viv Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.
Ismail forms part of a potent fast-bowling trio that also consists of Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka. They have been consistently lethal on surfaces that have had a tinge of grass on it, generating both seam and swing movement if also assisted by a bit of cloud cover.
However, the pitches in Antigua are expected to be bare and brown with heavenly clear blue skies accompanying it. Ismail is aware that it’s going to be a challenge to adapt, but the preparations have gone well since arriving on the tropical island.
“I saw the pitch yesterday and it looks like a good wicket that will offer a lot for our bowlers if we get our lengths right. Bowlers always have a role to play in T20 cricket and hopefully we can capitalize on that. Our batters have done well lately and I definitely see them adjusting well to these slow wickets we are expecting,” Ismail said.
“We had a good middle session that gave us an indication as to how the pitches here will play and we came through that test well. Hopefully we can come into the T20 series and start well. It is always our goal as a team that we start on a good note because it is a short series, and we can get some confidence going into the ODI series that follows.”
The West Indies tour is the first time the Proteas team are together again since the successful tour to India back in March, whereas their hosts are fresh off resounding series’ victories over Pakistan at home.
However, the visitors will be confident that they can achieve their first-ever success in the Caribbean after Ismail along with captain Dane van Niekerk and Kapp were part of the victorious Oval Invincibles’squad that lifted the maiden Hundred championship trophy at Lord’s a couple of weeks ago.
Fellow Proteas Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Mignon du Preez and Chloe Tryon also enjoyed valuable game-time in the Hundred playing for their respective franchises.
Full Proteas Women’s squad for West Indies tour
Dane van Niekerk (captain), Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondu Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas.