Tuesday, July 16, 2024

CSA: Wolvaardt – An opportunity to play more Test cricket is ‘awesome’ for Proteas women

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Photo Credit: BCCI

Captain Laura Wolvaardt expresses her excitement at the prospect of more red-ball cricket for the Proteas Women as they prepare to take on India in the one-off Test match at the historic M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, starting on Friday. 

The four-day clash will be broadcast live on SuperSport Grandstand (Ch. 201) from 09h30 local time (06h00 SAST). 

As the team gears up for their second Test match this year and third since 2022, Wolvaardt is excited about the opportunity to play more of the longer form of the game. Despite their innings and 284-run defeat away to Australia in February, Wolvaardt believes the contest against India will be crucial for South Africa’s growth in the Test format. 

“Getting the opportunity to play more test cricket is awesome, and something that a lot of our girls are really looking forward to. Having three scheduled in a calendar year is pretty cool, and something that I’ve wanted to see for a long time. I personally really enjoy the format and would love to see more of it. This Test will be a huge challenge for us, and hopefully, we’ll be able to adapt to the conditions well,” the skipper noted. 

In preparation for the first Women’s Test match in Chennai since 1976, Wolvaardt highlights the importance of facing spin bowling in the nets. She underscores the challenges posed by India’s spinners and the need for the team to adapt quickly to the pitch conditions, which are expected to become more challenging as the match progresses.

“Preparation-wise we’ve been facing a lot of spin in the nets the last few days. I think that’ll probably be the biggest threat, their spinners, especially as the Test match goes on into the last few days. And the nets yesterday were staying a bit low and turning quite a bit. So that’ll be our biggest challenge,” she commented. 

Following the series defeat in the One-Day Internationals against India, switching from limited-overs cricket to the Test format brings unique challenges for the Proteas Women. Wolvaardt speaks about the difficulties of adapting to the demands of Test cricket, especially given the absence of domestic multi-day matches. 

“We don’t play domestic red-ball stuff, so coming straight into an international multi-day game is difficult. For example, balls that I’ve been cover-driving my whole life, I now need to leave, which is difficult for me because it sort of just happens on instinct and sort of having to fight the way that I’ve been batting for my entire career is difficult,” she added. 

With a busy cricketing calendar ahead, managing player workloads is crucial for the South African side. Wolvaardt discusses the importance of careful planning and coordination, particularly with experienced players like Marizanne Kapp, to ensure they remain fit and ready for major tournaments such as this year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

“(Marizanne) has sort of been managing her workloads and taking it on a day-to-day basis because we have a pretty big year with that T20 World Cup in mind. You wouldn’t want to do anything silly when she’s not 100%. 

“We have a pretty well-organized medical team, physio and team trainer who sort of manage all of that. They put a lot of effort into our training programme and our workloads, and they monitor it quite closely, so I’m sure that they’ll make sure the time is right when she starts bowling again, and the same for all players, just to make sure they’re not overloaded with the calendar being as full as it is” she continued. 

Speaking on the Proteas Men’s momentous semi-final victory against Afghanistan to qualify for their first-ever World Cup final, Wolvaardt said: “Most of us woke up early to watch the game. It was absolutely amazing to watch, absolutely incredible. It looked amazing to be over there and we’re all going to be watching that final and cheering them on,” she concluded. 

Proteas Women ODI and Test Squad – Outbound Tour to India (16 June – 09 July) 

Laura Wolvaardt (Captain) (Fidelity Titans), Anneke Bosch (Fidelity Titans), Tazmin Brits (DP World LIons), Nadine de Klerk (World Sports Betting Western Province), *Annerie Dercksen (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), *Mieke de Ridder (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Sinalo Jafta (DP World Lions), Marizanne Kapp (World Sports Betting Western Province), Ayabonga Khaka (DP World Lions) (ODI Squad Only), Masabata Klaas (Fidelity Titans), Suné Luus (Fidelity Titans), *Eliz-Mari Marx (Fidelity Titans), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Tumi Sekhukhune (DP World Lions), *Nondumiso Shangase (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), ⁠Delmi Tucker (World Sports Betting Western Province) 

* Uncapped Test player

Fixtures – Proteas Women’s Outbound Tour to India (16 June – 09 July)

One-off Test:

Friday, 28 June – Monday, 01 July @ 06h00: India vs South Africa (M A Chidambaram Stadium,

Chennai)

T20 International Series:

Friday, 05 July @ 15h30 – 1st T20I: India vs South Africa (M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)

Sunday, 07 July @ 15h30 – 2nd T20I: India vs South Africa (M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)

Tuesday, 09 July @ 15h30 – 3rd T20I: India vs South Africa (M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)

All times are South African Standard Time (SAST)

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