South Africa was the semi-finalist in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017 as well as in the ICC Women’s World T20 in 2020. The last five years have been good for the Proteas as they have been preparing well. South Africa’s stand-in captain Sune Luus, against the backdrop of an extremely good 2021, is confident of reaching the finals in the upcoming ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to be played in New Zealand from March 4.
In 2021, South Africa played three bilateral series. First, they hosted Pakistan for a three-match T20I and a three-match ODI series. The hosts won both the formats by a margin of 3-0 and 2-1 respectively. Next, the Proteas toured India for a three-match T20I series and a five-match ODI series. The visitors thrashed India in both the formats by a margin of 2-1 and 4-1 respectively. Finally, the South Africans toured the West Indies to play their last bilateral series of the year. The South Africa-West Indies series followed the same pattern as the India series. While the three-match T20I series was tied 1-1, the five-match ODI series was clinched by South Africa 4-1. Tasting victory against quality teams like Pakistan, India and West Indies, the confidence in the South African camp will certainly be high.
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Ahead of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, the stand-in captain Sune Luus has penned down her thoughts.
She says, “In our preparation, we have tried many combinations to find the right fit for this World Cup. After many successful and unsuccessful games and series, we are confident that whoever walks out onto the park on the day can do the job for us. We have a strong squad with a combination of experienced players and a couple of players who will be making their World Cup debut. This is very exciting for us as a team.”
In 2020, between January 25 and February 13, South Africa toured New Zealand for a three-match ODI series and a five-match T20I series. The fact that South Africa won the three-match series 3-0 and played at some of the venues that will be used during the World Cup will give them confidence.
Luus says, “The most important part for us is to not focus too much on our opposition. Every match will be played like a final, therefore it is imperative that we only focus on what we do best and what we can control. In our previous series, this is what worked best for us. We tried to do the basics as best as we could, and the result took care of itself. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement of a World Cup, but it is going to be important for us to stay in our little bubble and be focused on our goal.”
Despite the South African team not having their regular captain and one of the best all-rounders in the world Dane van Niekerk for the World Cup, there is seldom any doubt that this team looks good on paper and have a high chance of making it to the finals.
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