Ahead of South Africa's Women's Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka, Dane van Niekerk, their captain, has said it's imperative for the side to refocus and rebuild their efforts in the shortest format following a disappointing campaign at the ICC Women's World T20 2018.
South Africa finished at third spot in the Group A, behind the Windies and England, and van Niekerk was at the time particularly disappointed with her team's efforts with the bat.
However, they've now worked on the mistakes and are better for it, she said. "After the World Cup we had a massive chat. We’ve had to rethink our strategies and we’ve done that," said van Niekerk on the eve of the first T20I on Thursday, 31 January.
"We’ve got some new faces in the squad and we just want to rebuild as a T20 group and make sure what happened at the World Cup doesn’t happen again.
"We’ve made some changes to the batting line-up and we needed to do that to give players the opportunity to show what they can do. We want to play an attacking brand of cricket and that’s one of our big targets."
She added that it was high time to breed youngsters, and that a long rope had been given to players in the past. "We’ve given enough opportunities in the past to some," she said. "So it’s time to give some young blood and some new faces to get the opportunity they worked hard for, so I'm really excited to see how they go."
We want to play an attacking brand of cricket and that’s one of our big targets
South Africa had a decent run at the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2017 – they reached the semi-final before losing to the tournament champions and hosts England. Instead of progressing after that, however, van Niekerk said they had regressed.
"Honestly speaking, I'm going to sit here and lie if I say we’ve progressed," she said. "After our performance at the World Cup, I think we regressed.
"We stagnated and it was a massive wake-up call, which has led to changes and in a way it may have been a good thing. We’re learning all the time from what happened there."
The three T20Is against Sri Lanka will be followed by as many one-day internationals, but South Africa were hit by a "massive blow" with Chloe Tryon being ruled out of the T20Is due to the recurrence of a groin injury.
"It’s a massive blow because we all know she’s one of the biggest hitters in the world, but it’s an opportunity for some of the others to show what they can do," van Niekerk concluded.
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