South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk feels her team's recent series in the Caribbean has helped them prepare well for the ICC Women's World T20 2018, to be played in the same part of the world.
"Yes, going there was a massive advantage for us going into the World Cup," said van Niekerk after returning from the tour.
South Africa played a three-match one-day international series, which was a part of the ICC Women's Championship, followed by five T20 Internationals. Both series were drawn with one game in each format being washed out. As the World T20 will also be played in the Caribbean from 9 November, van Niekerk feels her side can exploit their recently-acquired knowledge of the conditions.
Thank you @windieswomen & @windiescricket for an unforgettable tour and your warm hospitality. We can’t wait to meet again at the first ever stand-alone ICC Women’s World T20! #WatchThis #WT20 #AlwaysRising pic.twitter.com/IILjcMGmmi— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 7, 2018
"It's just the conditions, it's a bit slower. One of the things that we spoke about at length after the first ODI is that it's not like you can come in and plant your foot forward and just throw your hands at it," she said.
"The ball was soaking and had to be changed twice. I think we haven't encountered that before as much I think in Chennai a couple of years ago, we encountered that, but not at this level I guess. That was something new and the ladies put through. It was quite difficult."
The South Africa skipper feels that the team with the best bowling line-up will lift the title in November.
"It’s not going to be about the best batting team in my opinion at the World Cup, it is goint to be the about the best bowling team I think that will take the World Cup home. I saw it in the T20 series, that the people that handled the pressure better with the bowling came out on top," she pointed out.
South Africa yesterday announced their squad for the marquee event. Van Niekerk believes her side have players capable of bringing the trophy home.
"If you look at the squad, we have world-class players, we've got match-winners," she said. "I mean, in Lizelle Lee alone, she knows she can take apart any bowling line-up in the world and she showed that before ... Chloe Tryon also, the list goes on.
"It is more than realistic to go there and say that we are going there to win the tournament. I guess it is just that we have to rock up and with the added advantage hopefully we can use that and bring that cup home."
Tryon, the all-rounder, echoed her captain's thoughts, that getting used to the conditions ahead of the 20-over tournament has given the team an edge over other visitors.
"We learnt a lot on our trip now which is going to be important come the World Cup," said Tryon. "There is obviously a lot we need to work on, but we have a good idea of what we need to do at the competition in order to do well having recently experienced the conditions.
"We want to go there and win the competition. But we are not going to get carried away – we’ll take it one game at a time. We know that we are good enough to win the tournament and we are hoping to prove to the world that we are that strong."
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