JOHANNESBURG – Marizanne Kapp admitted yesterday that the axing of a few senior players has served as a timely wake-up call for the Proteas during their series with Sri Lanka.
South Africa have already claimed the series ahead of the final T20 international at Centurion today, but the quality of their play, has fallen well below the standards the players have set in recent years.
“We’ve not played our best cricket at all, we were lucky to come out on top (in the series),” Kapp acknowledged.
There are reasons for the less-than-stellar performances, most notably the absence of some senior and established pros. Lizelle Lee was dropped from the squad for ailing to adhere to the requisite fitness standards, Chloe Tryon got injured a few days before the series started, Sune Luus was dropped entirely before being recalled, so was former skipper Mignon du Preez.
That meant that at the Wanderers the Proteas started with five players who had all played less than 10 T20 - even though Luss had been recalled as a replacement for Tryon. “Missing players like Lizelle and Chloe does leave a big hole in the batting line-up,” said Kapp, one of the most experienced players in the squad and the No 2 ranked bowler in the one-day international format.
It’s been a difficult series with the South Africans hitherto, far too reliant on skipper Dane van Niekerk, who produced a Player-of-the-Match performance in the first game at Newlands, scoring a half-century and claiming four wickets. She then top scored with 33 off 19 balls in the second match where SA only just got across the line in the final over to clinch the series despite chasing a modest target of 106.
“It’s not just the younger players who haven’t performed,” said Kapp, “I was up there myself at No 3 and should have ended (the second game) there. But, if we come out on top playing the way we did, I’ll take it any day.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, we are trying some new combinations, we have a few new faces in the squad and we are trying to work things out, so hopefully we get better.@shockerhess