If there is a team that you could choose as a dark horse to run to the final in the T20 Women's World Cup, South Africa should be. They are an electrical equipment when they click, but they are also as inconsistent as they are exciting.
In the last two years, they have been eliminated from a world tournament in the group stage (2016 World T20) and have reached the final distance in another (World Cup 2017). They have awarded world record totals and have set their own records. They have been around the world, playing a lot more than any other team, and their preparation for the T20 World Cup involved the current West Indies World Champions with a 2-2 draw in the Caribbean.
"I think he said it 100 times: we can beat anyone in the world, it just depends on what we do the day," said Captain Dane van Niekerk on the eve of the team's departure to the Caribbean. "In the recent past we have not been a consistent unit, and that has been our ruin, somewhere it must click, and I hope it does in a big tournament like a World Cup."
Everything seemed to be going well for South Africa during the tail end of its limited series against the Antilles earlier this month. They recovered from a pair of loose batting performances that left them 0-2 down to win the fourth T20I by eight wickets before squaring the series with an exciting victory of three wickets with a leftover ball. When the highest order is executed, they are seen on a different machine.
"It was a great learning curve to go to the West Indies and play against the defending champions," said van Niekerk. "Our main order needs to be fired, and in the last three tours, we only had two hitters that moved in. We need four or five hitters to do it and do it very well for us." In the last two weeks we've been "We were home, a lot of our hitters have had time for introspection, and are ready to go to the World Cup. "
Coach Hilton Moreeng echoed van Niekerk's call for consistency, especially with the bat, whether Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt whether or not South Africa will have a quick start in the T20 World Championship will be vital in the conditions that will allow the spinners to control the average survivals of the game.
"The Powerplay will be key," Moreeng said. Subcontinent teams in the group and in that type of conditions, will have three to five shooters in the team. We need to counter that with the bat. With the hard ball in front, we need to capitalize, "since it can be very difficult in the middle period, for us, as a batting unit we have to work on our consistency, one of the three main ones should hit as deep as possible to give us a opportunity in the day ".
South Africa is in Group A, along with England, the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and their matches will be played at the National Stadium of Guyana in Providence. the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in Gros Islet and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua. Van Niekerk insisted that there would be no easy games in the group.
"A great tournament like this, and being the T20 cricket, brings all the teams together," he said. "We are not going to take anyone lightly, we know what Sri Lanka can contribute: one of their best hitters scored 170 against Australia in a World Cup, they have world class players on their team, and in Bangladesh, we had a good series against them at home, but as Hilton said, conditions there adapt a little more to the teams of the subcontinent and we know that they have many talented players with many skills ".
While van Niekerk expects a little more consistency from her Batters, she believes that it could be the team with the best bowling attack that will finally lift the trophy. "I did, I suppose, brave comment that the best bowling team in the Caribbean is going to win the World Cup," he said. "I just find that the batting conditions in general in women cricket with four and small limits, batting is a bit easier, so that's the main thing we're going to focus on: playing bowling and getting our plans 100 % ". "
Moreeng agreed with her:" The captain was successful. The best bowling team must be backed by good fielding. "
South Africa unfortunately lost one of its players before the tournament begins, Raisibe Ntozakhe was suspended for an illegal bowling action, but will also be reinforced The return of Shabnim Ismail to the T20 World Cup The fast bowler Ismail is the leader of South Africa in T20Is, with 72 layoffs in 69 matches, while both Marizanne Kapp and van Niekerk have 49 desserts each in the format. 19659002] "When we enter the World Cup, there are ten teams that go there with the same intention: to win," said Moreeng. "Therefore, we must remain focused on us as a team. If we can apply the basic concepts better than our opposition, on that day we believe we have the opportunity to do so. Everyone has realized what must happen, and they & # 39; we are hungry. We believe that at the end of the day the team that most wants it will win. And we are working hard to be that team. "