EXCLUSIVE: De Klerk wants Proteas to be brave against India’s spinners

Nadine de Klerk of South Africa. | BackpagePix

Nadine de Klerk of South Africa. | BackpagePix

Published Jun 11, 2024


Zaahier Adams

All-rounder Nadine de Klerk has called on the Proteas Women’s team to be “positive and brave” on their tour of India.

The Proteas have arrived on the subcontinent for an all-format tour that includes three ODIs, three T20Is and a solitary maiden Test.

It is the first tour in more than a decade where the Proteas Women’s team will be without former head coach Hilton Moreeng. Bowling coach Dillon du Perez has been handed the reins on an interim basis.

The team also has a new batting coach in Baakier Abrahams, who has enjoyed great success with the double SA20 champions Sunrisers Eastern Cape the past two seasons, and will hopefully look to replicate that with the Proteas Women’s team.

There has certainly been significant progress since Abrahams took over on an interim basis during the recent home Sri Lanka series when captain Laura Wolvaardt struck two centuries along with opening partner Tazmin Brits’s maiden ton.

The challenge will be greater on the subcontinent, though, where De Klerk expects the visitors to face a trial by spin.

“They (India) are a pretty good batting unit, but their bowlers is the one thing to look out for,” De Klerk exclusively told Independent Newspapers from Bangalore.

“All their spinners, from Deepti (Sharma) to Radha (Yadav), are really good. They will make it really hard for us to score.

“We have to find ways to put their bowlers under pressure and not just let their spinners bowl at us. We want to be positive and brave and back ourselves.”

The visitors will have the positive energy to call on from their last tour to India when Moreeng’s charges won both the ODI and T20 series for the first time. The success was primarily built around former opener Lizelle Lee’s runs at the top of the order.

Lee, of course, has retired from international cricket along with a host of other former Proteas. De Klerk acknowledges that the Proteas have a vastly different team with some fresh faces in Eliz-Marie Marx and Annerie Derksen, but will still bank the experience of knowing that they have won in India before.

“The last time we played here we won the series when we played really good cricket, but obviously we have a very different squad now. We don’t have the same players that we had in the previous series here,” De Klerk said.

“It's a new challenge, and although we have a lot of confidence coming into this series we know India is a very good team, and that we will have to play our absolute best cricket to give them a good run.”

Equally, De Klerk is in familiar conditions in the southern part of India after forming part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women’s squad that claimed the Women’s Premier League (WPL) trophy earlier this year.

She is certainly looking forward to the frenzied atmosphere inside the Chinnaswamy Stadium that makes playing in India a unique experience.

“India is obviously the place where you want to play cricket. I’ve played a couple of games in Bangalore in the WPL, and I think that the main thing that stood out was the crowd,” De Klerk said.

“It’s always quite special playing in front of them even if they may not be the country they are supporting, they support cricket in general.

“Even though they want India to win, I have always felt that there was pretty good support for other teams as well. It’s just so much more fun playing in front of massive crowds and it’s really special to hear every wicket and run being cheered.”

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