Proteas Women Gear Up for Inaugural Test Match against Australia

In this file photo, Marizanne Kapp congratulates night-watcher Tumi Sekhukhune for her three hours at the crease to ensure that the Proteas Women secured a tenacious draw against England, at Taunton on Thursday, 30 June 2022. South Africa gear up for their Inaugural Test Match against Australia, at the WACA in Perth from 15-18 February, 2024. Photo: Marizanne Kapp on Instagram

Following a closely contested white-ball leg Down Under, the Proteas Women shift their focus to their inaugural Test match against host Australia at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) Ground in Perth from 15 – 18 February. 

The one-off Test match is not only the first between the two countries but also marks the first red-ball international held at the WACA since 2017 and only the fourth women’s Test match held at the ground, with the last one taking place in January 2014.

Speaking to the media ahead of the match, captain Laura Wolvaardt expressed not just her excitement but the team’s excitement for the start of the test match. “So excited, especially for us to be playing at the WACA. Such an iconic ground. Group is very excited and we cant wait to get going.”

Playing test cricket against a country like Australia is no easy feat, but Wolvaardt commented that, “It is very special and Australia is leading the way in women’s cricket and for us to play against them and to measure ourselves against them is an opportunity for us to grow. So yeah we are really really excited.”

Looking ahead to the future and more multi-format series like the one currently being played Down Under, Laura feels she along with the team will enjoy it more. It is a battle within a battle and she personally loves test cricket. It also allows them more playing time and to fine tune their skills in test cricket. 

“It is really special to get a test match cap and to be able to play in another one is really special. It is rather a shame that some of our best players like Marizanne Kapp has only played one or two test matches throughout her career, so hopefully we can squeeze a few more in.”

Ahead of the match during the training session held on Tuesday, Wolvaardt had a look at the wicket, “The wicket has been turning a bit more lately. Expecting it to be pretty bouncy as well. It is probably the bounciest ground in the world from what I have heard. So did a lot of prep in the nets, so hopefully we are ready for tomorrow.”

With Cricket South Africa professionalising Women’s cricket ahead of the 2023/2024 season, it has changed the game of women’s cricket in South Africa. The rewards from such a move won’t be seen straight off but in a few years, the depth and player quality coming through will be something we can look forward to. 

Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game and Wolvaardt feels that if players have any flaws or technical errors, it will show very quickly. “It will be a really good test. The gap between us and Australia is slowly but surely closing. But we do have a lot of work to do in our domestic structures back home.” 

With two historic wins in the bag against Australia, the Proteas will look to take the test match to the very end against the Aussies. “We have had discussions about those two wins and we are able to draw positives from that and look forward to a fight and hopefully win it. We just have to take it one day at a time. Australia is a quality side.”

The Proteas with a young side on tour and not many of them having played test cricket, the past few days was spent having a crash course on test cricket. “It has been the hardest part for us. Not having much red-ball experience also makes it quite challenging but we are had a test match camp just before this tour, just to touch on the basics. Hopefully the more we play, the better we will get at it, “commented Wolvaardt.

Considering the challenging weather conditions in Perth, with temperatures expected to reach between 40 – 42 degrees before dropping to a maximum of 26 and increasing again across the four days, Wolvaardt emphasised the importance of recovery.

“Well, 26 is still pretty hot for us. I think 41 is going to be crazy. I think the recovery will be key for us just after a day’s play. It’s not something we’re used to coming back to back to back. Usually, we get a bit of a rest day after an ODI. The physical and mental preparation will be pretty difficult and something we’re not used to, but we’ll have to deal with it,” Wolvaardt added.

If South Africa secures the win, Wolvaardt will become only the second Proteas Women captain to win a Test match for her country after Cri-Zelda Brits led her team to victory against the Netherlands in Rotterdam. 

The four-day game is set to commence at 11h00 local time (05h00 SAST), airing live on SuperSport Grandstand (Channel 201).

South African Test Squad:

Laura Wolvaardt (c)
Anneke Bosch
Tazmin Brits
Nadine de Klerk
Mieke de Ridder (wk)
Ayana Hlubi
Sinalo Jafta (wk)
Marizanne Kapp
Masabata Klaas
Suné Luus
Eliz-Mari Marx
Nonkulukelo Mlaba
Chloé Tryon
Delmi Tucker


Photo Caption: In this file photo, Marizanne Kapp congratulates night-watcher Tumi Sekhukhune for her three hours at the crease to ensure that the Proteas Women secured a tenacious draw against England, at Taunton on Thursday, 30 June 2022. South Africa gear up for their Inaugural Test Match against Australia, at the WACA in Perth from 15-18 February, 2024. Photo: Marizanne Kapp on Instagram

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About the Author:

Selina Munsamy

Selina Munsamy

I am a sports enthusiast. I am newly appointed KZN Women's Cricket Manager for the 2019/2020 season. My passion lies in cricket, technically I live and breathe cricket. I am a Scorer affiliated to KZN Cricket Scorer's Association. I also coach mini cricket for Tongaat Cricket Union. Live, Laugh and Love with Sport.

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