ST LUCIA – Since arriving in St Lucia, both of South Africa’s training sessions have been washed out – it’s not ideal, but Hilton Moreeng, their coach, remains optimistic.
South Africa’s opening ICC Women’s World T20 2018 match, against Sri Lanka, is around the corner, but they are yet to get a proper practice session going. Considering that they lost both their official warm-up games – to Pakistan and Australia – and the situation is far from perfect.
But their coach is sure that with the kind of training the players have gone through, all will be well.
“Coming here to St Lucia and not being able to go out and work like we’ve wanted to has been frustrating but we also know that these are some of the areas of the game that we don’t have control over,” he said on Saturday.
“We need to worry about what we can control: Our performance on any given day, our preparation building up to this tournament, those are all controllable. The rain, unfortunately, is not and that’s okay, we will deal with those consequences as and when they come.
“As far as the players are concerned, if they had to be woken up tomorrow and told they have to play a match, they would know what they would have to do because the preparation has been done. Mentally, physically and tactically we are exactly where we want to be.”
The bowlers have held their own, both in the warm-ups as well as in the series in the West Indies recently, but the batters have struggled. In the two warm-ups, they scored 72/9 against Pakistan in 15.1 overs and were restricted to 79/9 in 20 overs by the Australians.
“As a squad, we’re in a very good place. Bar the results from the warm-up games, which is what it was – warm-up cricket – they gave us an opportunity to try different combinations as a team and to see what will be required on these conditions,” said Moreeng.
“When you look at the combinations we’ve tried, we’ve given everyone in the squad a run and they have a good idea of what will be needed from them. We have such a good squad that anyone can play on any day. Our plans are where we wanted them to be after the warm-up games and we feel that we are ready for the first game against Sri Lanka.”
Moreeng also feels that the conditions the South Africans have dealt with so far haven't really been conducive to their batters.
“I think if you look overall at all of the teams during the warm-up matches you’ll see that they all struggled with the bat at some point. Obviously, that’s not the bar we set for ourselves, but we acknowledge the difficult conditions for batting,” he said.
“It’s why we were here so early so that we can get enough games under our belts to make sure that it’s not such a shock to the system when we play on difficult batting tracks.”
African News Agency (ANA)