Hilton Moreeng, the South Arrica women head coach, has said that his side is pumped ahead of their full tour to New Zealand later this month, where they take on the White Ferns in three one-day internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals.
This will be South Africa's first assignment of 2020, building up to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Australia in February-March. Moreeng said that while facing a strong New Zealand team will be a challenge for his side, the experience will help them prepare for the marquee tournament.
"We have had a good break thus far and all of us are relishing the prospect of facing New Zealand on their home conditions," the South Africa head coach said on Tuesday, 7 January.
“This tour offers us a great opportunity to garner much-needed points for the ICC Women’s Championship, but also great preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup. Both the ODI and T20 series will be challenging against a very strong New Zealand outfit.
"I can’t think of a more hyped-up event in terms of women’s cricket that I’ve seen in the last decade or so."— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) January 7, 2020
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"However, we need that challenge as it will help us measure our gameness for the all-important T20 spectacle in Australia. This team has come far and we are at a point where we are ready to be counted amongst the elite.”
Moreeng added that South Africa, who are ranked No.5 in MRF Tyres ICC Women's ODI Rankings, and No.6 in the T20I rankings, are ready to move to the next level this year. The head coach has laid out consistency to be the most important factor that will determine the team combination.
“We are looking to have a consistent group," said Moreeng. "There’s no doubt about that and I know we as the management team are obviously absorbed to pick a consistent team because our squad is starting to perform at a level that we want, so it makes our job that much more difficult and that is what you want when you’re heading into a tour of this magnitude.
"The players have realized the importance of coming to the party and this will go a long way in ensuring that we rise on the rankings with good performances against quality opposition.”
The three-match ODI series between South Africa and New Zealand will begin at the Eden Park Outer Oval on 25 January, whereas the first of the five T20Is will be played at the Bay Oval on 2 February. South Africa's squads for the tour will be announced on Monday.