Proteas rookies prepare for test against experienced England team

The Proteas women’s cricket team head in their first test match in eight years – and just their 13th overall – in Taunton on Monday when they face with the widest experience of the form: England.

Monday’s historic meeting will be England’s third Test in just over a year and they have played 97 in total. Most of their team participated in Ash trial against Australia in January.

South Africa’s preparations for what is truly a terrifying step into the unknown has been thwarted by the inaccessibility of leading fast bowler Shabnim Ismail (calf strain) and all-rounder Chloe Tryon (thigh) due to injury. The in-formed Ayabong Haka will also be out of the game because she declared herself unavailable for Test cricket before the start of the tour.

“We wish we had these three seniors with their experience and skill set, but it’s not a big setback,” Capt. Sune Luus said Sunday.

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“We still have a very good team, the youth have shown that they can improve in the last series that we played, and I have full confidence in them. The team is the future of South African cricket,” added Luus.

“This is our first test in eight years and we’re just going to enjoy it as much as we can. This is the first time we’ve received a Dukes red ball and we’re excited about the opportunity.

“Test cricket has not always been the most important event for women’s cricket, but hopefully we can play more of it in the future,” Luus said.

Required skill set

Successfully playing Test cricket will require a number of skills from the Proteas team that are very inexperienced in long form play.

“It’s all new for us in test matches and we’re very excited,” Luus said. “We don’t really know what Test cricket is and how it goes, but it will be a good test for our skills.

“You have to concentrate for a long time and you have to be at the top of your game. We have been working on our game plans and what is required at certain times.

“It will be a work in progress, we will go through it from session to session, we will learn all the time. It will be a great introduction and opportunity.

“It is a true honor to wear our test caps for the first time. There will be many test debuts and it will be a special day for us,” Luus said.

The game starts at 12:00 local time.