The Proteas women’s batting skills are a continuing struggle with just five days left before they take on Sri Lanka in their opening match of the ICC Women’s World T20. But even though she admits the Proteas women are struggling in every game, all-rounder, Sune Luus believes team members simply need to chill out and get their minds off cricket.
Despite losing all their warm-up matches, Luus is still positive and believes the Proteas womens team can still win the first ever standalone Women’s T20 World Cup scheduled to start on Friday, 09 November in the West Indies.
“Without a doubt I think we can still win this thing. We have seen with our bowling we can restrict any team to a reasonable total if the batters come to the party. It should be easy to chase down. I mean with our batting, we have Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon, and all the big hitters coming in, including myself,” she said.
Warm-up Matches Show Proteas Women are Struggling
In their two official warm-up matches, the Proteas batswomen could only manage to score 79/9 and 84/9 against Pakistan and Australia respectively in their allocated 20 overs. In two unofficial warm-up matches, the Proteas put up a decent fight with both bat and bowl against England and India but ended up losing both encounters.
Losing four warm-up matches in a row in preparation for a big tournament can result in players starting to doubt themselves and their abilities, especially after spending a month in the Caribbean trying to get used to the playing conditions.
“We have trained really well over the last couple of weeks we have been in the Caribbean,” said Luus. “I think our preparations, you can’t fault that, we have worked really worked. For the girls it is becoming quite a mental thing at the moment, just struggling every game. That really gets to your head, so I think for us we just need to chill out, go do something fun, just get our minds off cricket.”
Choosing to stay positive, Luus said they can’t put themselves down now before the World Cup even starts. “Everyone just needs to stay positive as individuals, focus on your own game, focus on what you need to do to get ready for that first game against Sri Lanka.”
According to the 22-year-old, lack of patience to work the ball around for ones and twos, wait for that boundary ball, and put it away are some of the factors for the poor batting display by the Proteas. She says it is a struggle for the Proteas to build partnerships to chase or post defendable totals.
However, in spite of that the Proteas Women are struggling with their batting, they still have time to work on their batting skills as they only play their first game against Sri Lanka on the 12th of November.
Proteas Women are Bowling Well
One aspect of the game where the Proteas Women are doing very well is bowling. They have managed to restrict teams to targets that their batswomen should chase and Luus is glad to see every bowler pulling their weight.
We have our ups and downs with the fielding, bowling is one of our best areas.
Another Proteas all-rounder is Marizanne Kapp who believes that is not necessarily how you start but how you end. “Yes, the games have not gone our way, we haven’t played the best cricket, but I think we’ve learned a lot. There are a lot of positives to take out of it.”
“We would have liked to win every single game but I’m a believer in peaking at the right time. I’ve seen in the sides I’ve played for – the (Sydney) Sixers (Women’s Big Bash League) and the Surrey Stars (Super League). The years we won were actually the years we started off badly, and people said that we should rather come back and try again next year … and we ended up winning both of those tournaments after starting that way. I think it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you end,” said Kapp.
Ultimately, she believes that while the Proteas women are struggling now, they might not struggle next week!