It’s been a very long 148 days wait for a next women’s test with Australia v England being the last that was played early this year in January, the moment is finally here and it’s now just a sleep away. Won’t be wrong to say, South Africa are being reintroduced to Test match cricket, as their last Test game was v India way back in 2014. South Africa and England tomorrow for the first time since 2004 will play each other in a women’s Test match.
South Africa have named a 23 player squad for the ODI’s and the one-off test that features only 4 test players so, a lot of cap presentation in the South African camp is what’s assured. Hosts, England will also have a few cap presentations to do in absence of pace veterans, Anya Shrubsole, retired for international cricket and Katherine Brunt, retired from test match cricket so, a new look pace attack will take control of proceedings.
SOUTH AFRICA’S SQUAD :
Sune Luus (C), Andrie Steyn, Lara Goodall, Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Anneke Bosch, Chloe Tryon, Marizanne Kapp, Nadine de Klerk, Sinalo Jafta, Trisha Chetty, Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Shabnim Ismail, Tumi Sekhukhune
South Africa have got a very reliable and a dependent squad. The batting with Laura Wolvaardt, Sune Luus, Lizelle Lee and Lara Goodall is a compact one and especially with what’s to follow in all-rounders, Marizanne Kapp, Nadine de Klerk and also keeper-batter, Trisha Chetty is really promising. South Africa’s key is their bowling attack, the attack lead by Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka and Marizanne Kapp don’t just give anything easy and in the spin department, there’s Chole Tryon to spin her web. A huge update hours ago had come from the South African camp stating Ayabonga Khaka is not being considered for selection, Shabnim Ismail with a shin niggle and Chloe Tryon with a hip niggle have been ruled out for the Test match. That’s just not the news what anyone wanting a good test match would wish for, but now what South Africa pick will be real intresting as names who could have created a real impact are all missing the test and with Ismail’s rule out must revisit their decision to not consider Khaka.
ENGLAND’S SQUAD :
Heather Knight (C), Issy Wong, Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver
Pacers, Lauren Bell and Issy Wong having not played for England across any format have received their first call and it’s to feature in the Test squad. (It initially was Emily Arlott, but having faced after effects of Covid she returned home and 20 y/o Issy Wong has been given a call up). Freya Davies and Alice Davidson-Richards have featured for a few games playing in national colours in the white-ball format will be hopeful of making a test debut. Kate Cross being the the only senior pace bowler will lead the pack. The spin department is England’s asset, Sophie Ecclestone for sure isn’t missing out and depending on the track if it will be a turner there’ll be Charlie Dean in XI. Batting for England is their strength and must look to put on a big total to not let their fresh pace bowling unit fell the pressure. Emma Lamb is certain for a test debut and will be opening the batting alongside Tammy Beaumont. The middle order in, Heather Knight, Nat Sciver, Sophie Dunkely and Amy Jones is what’s England’s absolute key, their runs and with what intent they come will go on to define the outcome of this Test.
The weather on the forecast is not too good with showers predicted in small pockets throughout the course of the Test match. Hopefully, the weather gods stay kind and we witness a complete Test play.
South Africa hold strength in their bowling and will look to rattle the English batting line up. Whereas, England will look to dominate with bat in hand and negotiate the trouble South African attack can present. A good contest of bat and ball is being hoped for.