Cricket

South Africa Ready For World-Class India, Says Laura Wolvaardt

Coming from a middling outing in the white-ball formats at home against Sri Lanka, South Africa women’s team captain Laura Wolvaardt is looking to achieve the twin goals of a series win over India and getting in best shape ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup

AP
Newly appointed South Africa women's team skipper Laura Wolvaardt Photo: AP
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Bengaluru, Jun 12: Coming from a middling outing in the white-ball formats at home against Sri Lanka, South Africa women’s team captain Laura Wolvaardt is looking to achieve the twin goals of a series win over India and getting in best shape ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup. (More Cricket News)

South Africa will face the Board President’s XI in a warm-up match here on Thursday before taking on India in three ODIs on June 16, 19, 23. “They're a world-class side and we're going to have to be at our best to beat them. We are trying to get everyone settled into their roles before the (women’s) T20 World Cup is pretty important as well,” said Wolvaardt in a press meet here.

The women’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in Bangladesh in October.

“They (India) obviously have world-class players. We've done a lot of homework and discussion. Hopefully, we have our plans sorted out by the first game,” she said.

However, the ODIs also have massive significance for the South Africans as a good performance here can further strengthen their position in the ICC Women’s ODI Championships table.

The Proteas are currently third on the grid, and can qualify directly for the women’s 50-over World Cup in 2025 in India.

“We're focusing on a lot at the moment. Obviously, with the ODIs having points up for grabs, the T20Is being in preparation for the World Cup and then the Test match (in Chennai) being pretty special too.

“We've tried to sort of cover everything and there isn't really one that's massively more important than the other. We'd like to do well in all formats,” she said.

Wolvaardt said they were largely experimenting in the ODIs and T20Is at home against Sri Lanka.

Wolvaardt was in fine form but South Africa lost the three-match T20I series 1-2 before drawing the ODI rubber 1-1 with the first match being a washout.

The 25-year-old Cape Town woman, however, made a bucketful of runs against the Islanders.

She made 102 and 56 in the shortest format, and later scored 41, 110 and an unbeaten 184 in the one-dayers.

“We were sort of trying different combinations. In the T20Is against Sri Lanka, we gave a bunch of youngsters some opportunity to try and put up their hand.

“If everyone is healthy and fit, we'll be looking to play our best 11. We won't be experimenting too much or taking this Indian side too lightly,” she noted.

In 2021, South Africa had a successful tour to India, beating the hosts 4-1 in ODIs and 2-1 in T20Is.

But India under Harmanpreet Kaur have recently blanked Bangladesh 5-0 in an away T20I series.

Wolvaardt hoped that her side could repeat that feat from three years ago and banked on the Women’s Premier League (WPL) experience as an additional preparation point.

Wolvaardt had played for Gujarat Giants in the WPL 2024.

“Luckily, a few of us were able to play in WPL, an amazing tournament. I got used to the conditions here after playing a few games, which was nice. When I was here, it was a very nice wicket to bat,” she said.

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