Wolvaardt takes positives from drawn Indian series

Proteas Women head home to prepare for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in September

Laura Wolvaardt plays a shot during the 3rd T20 against India at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai
FREEING HER HANDS: Laura Wolvaardt plays a shot during the 3rd T20 against India at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai
Image: PRATHIKSHA MK/SPORTZPICS FOR BCCI

A series-levelling 10-wicket demolition job by India should not detract from the hard work and dedication her players have shown in recent months, Proteas Women captain Laura Wolvaardt said.

The SA women crumbled under the pressure of the Indian bowlers, as Pooja Vastrakar (4/13) and Radha Yadav (3/6) destroyed the visitors’ batting line-up as they were bundled out for 84.

The hosts chased down the target without losing a wicket and with 55 balls remaining courtesy of openers Smriti Mandhana (54 runs off 40 balls) and Shafali Varma (27 off 25).

The win earned India a draw in the three-match T20 international series after game two ended with no result and SA clinched a 12-run victory in the opener.

“I’m very happy with the series and we will take a lot of learnings from it,” Wolvaardt told the post-match media conference.

“We are happy with how we batted in the first two games.

“The positive intent was there and we have been making a lot of good strides in our batting, so I don’t want this one game to set us back with that.”

The Proteas head home for some rest before getting their preparations under way for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in September.

Asked how close this group would be to the team that travels to Bangladesh, Wolvaardt said decisions on who would make the final cut still needed to be taken.

“It will be up to the selection panel back home and what they think, not just myself, but with this being our last games before the World Cup, I’d like to think that was close to what we would have in the squad.”

The top-order batter said the third match was not the way the players wanted to end the series, adding that they could have done certain things better.

“We have spoken about being a lot more positive as a batting unit, and it came off in the first two games, it is just about when it is not quite there early on.

“It was a tough toss to lose, but we definitely could have put up 140-150,” the skipper said.

Sune Luus missed all three matches in the series. When asked where the all-rounder fitted into the Proteas’ plans, Wolvaardt deferred the question to the decisionmakers at CSA.

“She is such a veteran of the game in SA cricket. She has played more than 100 games, so the experience and knowledge that she has with the bat is invaluable.

“We have tried it now with having a few all-rounders in the middle order.

“I think one decision we will have to make, based on conditions, is whether to play an extra batter, all-rounder or spinner in Bangladesh,” she said.

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