CAPE TOWN – South Africa may be without their leadership duo Dane van Niekerk and Chloe Tryon in India, but coach Hilton Moreeng still believes they have enough experience within the team to create history.
The Proteas Women's team have never won a series in India – both ODI and T20 – leading into this five-match ODI and three-game T20 tour.
Van Niekerk and Tryon would undoubtedly have played a big role in trying to achieve this maiden success on the subcontinent with the former being one of the leading leg-spinners in the world, while Tryon is, of course, a feared big hitter lower down the order.
But Moreeng is confident that they still have enough experience in stand-in skipper Sune Luus, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Ayabonga Khaka and Laura Wolvaardt to guide youngsters such as Nonkululeko Mlaba, Faye Tunnicliffe and Lara Goodall as the team works towards the World Cup next year in New Zealand.
"The youngsters are slowly maturing and it's great to see the way they're improving. What's great to see that when we do have a senior player missing out, there are always a couple around that these youngsters can play with and guide them. So we're blessed with talent coming through," Moreeng said.
"We're playing against one of the best in their conditions and we're looking forward to the test. This series is also going to give us a lot of answers as we build the team towards a World Cup in 2022."
Moreeng also stated Van Niekerk "is entering the last phase of her preparation" as "she is busy with her conditioning ahead of her return to play".
The skipper is therefore expected back at the helm in April, although Tryon's road to recovery "still has another month or two to go before she will be ready".
The absence of Van Niekerk and Tryon in the middle order is, though, another opportunity for Tasmin Britz to stake a permanent claim for a spot in the ODI line-up. Although not a greenhorn at 30 years old, Britz is a former track and field star that adds great athleticism in the field in addition to her power hitting.
She was excellent in the recent T20 series against Pakistan – striking two half-centuries – and will hope to transfer that good form to 50-overs cricket now too.