Wolvaardt sees ODI series as Proteas’ shot at redemption

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa. | BackpagePix

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 9, 2024


Ongama Gcwabe

THE Proteas Women are bracing for the start of the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka today at the Buffalo Park Stadium in East London.

The most important question leading into the series is whether they will be able to pick themselves up from the 2-1 T20 series loss to Sri Lanka at the same ground last week.

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa. | BackpagePix

Captain Laura Wolvaardt reckons they will be able to complete a successful turnaround despite becoming the first Proteas Women’s team to lose a series against Sri Lanka in South Africa.

“I think we can pick ourselves up because we know where we went wrong and we know what we can improve on,” Wolvaardt said yesterday.

“(It’s) not the way we wanted to end the (T20) series but we’ve had a good couple of days just to refocus, to talk about what we want to achieve in the ODI series. I think we’re all good to go.”

Wolvaardt believes that because they have identified where they went wrong in the T20 series, they will be able to put the series loss behind them and focus on the ODI series at hand.

The 24-year-old also takes comfort in that they have lost one ODI series this season, against world champions Australia in Australia.

“We just spoke about plans and retouched on our ODI framework and blueprint and how we’d like to go about that. ODIs have been our stronger format for the last couple of months, it is a format that we feel quite confident in,” she continued.

“We back ourselves and believe we’ll be able to beat them. I think if we perform to the best of our abilities we can beat any side in the world, for that matter.

“We just need everything to come together. Consistency is something that we’ve been talking about wanting to do better in. So, hopefully we can have three games where we’re fairly consistent.”

Points for automatic qualification for next year’s Women’s ODI World Cup will be up for grabs during the series and South Africa sit in a healthy second position on the ICC Women’s Championship table.

“It’s a very important (series). Obviously, we find ourselves in quite a good position on the log. We still have a couple of tough series lying ahead of us, so I think every point that we can secure is good,” said Wolvaardt.

“I think Sri Lanka are a really good side and they showed that in the T20I series with putting up good performances. So, it’s not a series we can take lightly at all and we’ll definitely have to be at our best to try and secure as many points as we can.”

There’s been rain in Eastern Cape for the last couple of days and that will possibly change the conditions at the normally spinner-friendly Buffalo Park Stadium.

Wolvaardt said the rain has affected their preparations.

“It’s been frustrating, especially from a training perspective. We’ve been sort of stuck indoors, which is not ideal,” she said.

“There is a bit of rain around so we’ll just have to be flexible and be prepared to possibly play a shortened game if it comes to that. We have just come off a shorter format so if it does get down to a T20, it’s not the worst thing in the world.”