CAPE TOWN – Proteas Women’s head coach Hilton Moreeng has declared South Africa’s readiness for their tour to India ahead of their departure over the weekend.
The SA national women’s team will leave the country on Sunday for a trip that comprises five T20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals.
The tour starts on September 19 with a T20 warm-up match and the T20 internationals will finish on October 4. This is then followed by the three ODIs, which will end on October 14.
The T20 internationals will be played at Surat, while the ODIs are scheduled for Baroda.
The trip is an important part of preparations for next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia as well as some 50-over action ahead of crunch fixtures in the International Women's Championship (IWC) programme away to New Zealand and at home to Australia.
“It will be exciting to see how things go in India, where we are playing against one of the top teams and in their conditions,” Moreeng said. “If we can do well, I think it can set us up nicely for the season ahead, including our IWC series against New Zealand in January.”
The Proteas Women have been hard at work over the past few months preparing for the season ahead. They spent time at the National Academy in Pretoria, with many also participating in an Emerging Series against their Bangladesh counterparts.
More recently, they also came together for 10 days for a training camp in Pietermaritzburg to wrap up plans ahead of the tour.
Moreeng continued: “Maritzburg was good for us and a lot of the focus was on skill work. We brought everyone together and it was a good exercise ahead of India. We also practised in slow and low conditions. The planning has been spot on, now it’s about execution in those tough conditions. But we have given ourselves a good chance.”
The South Africans endured a poor 2018 T20 World Cup in the West Indies, where they failed to progress from their group. This time around they will be aiming for much better and the trip to India will aid those preparations.
“This tour to India will also be about giving youngsters an opportunity, knowing that we want to continue growing the team. We know that World Cups are going to come thick and fast now. IWC is also crucial. It’s two-fold for us.”
Moreeng also believes his squad is now in a much better space in terms of depth compared to 12 months ago.
The touring party was named on Monday, with unfamiliar faces like Anneke Bosch – who last played for her country nearly three years ago – and uncapped Nonkululeko Mlaba. There was also a return for senior players Ayabonga Khaka and Trisha Chetty after injuries.
“The youngsters are coming through and I think we can safely say that we have three players per position who are competing,” Moreeng said. “This puts us in a better position compared to where we were 12 months ago.
“We have to think ahead to 2021 when there’s another 50 overs World Cup, so we also have to be focusing long-term.”