Proteas bidding for better batting show – De Klerk

NADINE de Klerk of South Africa believes the Proteas Women will learn much about spin ahead of the Cricket World Cup next year. BackpagePix

NADINE de Klerk of South Africa believes the Proteas Women will learn much about spin ahead of the Cricket World Cup next year. BackpagePix

Published Jun 18, 2024



A SOLID start with the ball, backed up by fielding of the highest quality, got the Proteas Women in a strong position in the first one-day international against India.

Equally, failure to keep India on the ropes and pounce on their manufactured advantage early in the series means the next two fixtures will be must-win encounters for the South Africans.

The Proteas’ shaky start to their tour of India has left them with a mountain to climb and they will have it all to do when they come up against their hosts for the second ODI at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru today.

Their heavy 143-run loss on Sunday didn’t only fall short of their allotted 50 overs, but raised the bigger question of how they will approach their batting against a spin-dominated attack.

South Africa lost seven wickets to spin in the first match, and their inability to rotate the strike prevented them from building any momentum.

All-rounder Nadine de Klerk, speaking to the media yesterday, thought the Proteas’ fielding effort to restrict India to 265/8 was a decent one, but that they lost the match through a combination of good bowling from the opposition and the lack of batting partnerships.

“We didn’t get enough runs on the board with the bat,” she said.

“Their spinners bowled really well and we just couldn’t get going. It was just a poor batting performance; losing three wickets in the powerplay placed a lot of pressure on the middle-order.

“It looked like a slow wicket from the start. It didn’t look easier when they were batting as well, and we probably expected for it to play a bit better under lights ...

“They got quite a bit of turn, especially Asha (Sobhana), who bowled really well on that wicket.

“We didn’t apply ourselves the way we wanted to, but I guess we could take a lot of learnings, especially from (India opener) Smriti (Mandhana, who scored a century) and how she went about her business.”

India will host the ICC 50-over World Cup in 2025, and South Africa are currently ranked third, one point behind England, in the ICC Women’s ODI Championship.

“When you play international cricket, there is always a bit of pressure,” De Klerk explained.

“Especially, if you come to India and play them in their backyard, it’s going to be a massive challenge. More so with the World Cup being in their country.We all know how important it is to qualify for the World Cup directly, you do not want to go through qualifiers.

“We only have one or two series left after this to qualify directly, so this is a massive series for us and for those (ranking) points in preparation for the World Cup.

“The main goal will be to get a win tomorrow (today) and go into a decider in the last game and try to win the series.”