Proteas

Wolvaardt wants to be world's best but has World Cup glory in mind

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Proteas women batter Laura Wolvaardt
Proteas women batter Laura Wolvaardt
Darren Stewart/Gallo Images
  • There's no denying that Laura Wolvaardt wants to be the best, however winning a World Cup is on her to-do list.
  • Wolvaardt, who is an expert cover driver, stated that she is content to play down the middle order. 
  • The Proteas take on Pakistan in the final T20 at Kingsmead on Wednesday.

When Laura Wolvaardt takes her stance at the crease, there always a sense that something might happen.

Even though she is just 21, the graceful right-hander has been stalwart for the Proteas women and has appeared in 53 ODIs and 27 T20Is to date.

Wolvaardt has established herself as one of the best batters in the modern era since arriving on the international stage in 2016.

However, in recent years, Wolvaardt has solidified her spot in the Proteas women side as she boasts an average of 45.36 in one-day cricket. 

When asked whether she comprehends just how good she is, Wolvaardt was modest in her reply.

"It's not something I necessarily think about, my main focus is to contribute and do what I can for the team," Wolvaardt told reporters on Tuesday.

"The main focus is to win a World Cup with this team one day if I can focus on my preparations and practice. If we can do what we need to do and hopefully we can get there one day.

"I am a very competitive person, I want to be the best at what I do so it's a long process. It is something that I've spoken to them about and they have mentioned it before," she said.

"I'm trying not to think about it, the more you think about things like that the less focussed you'll be on the cricket. But for now, it's just watching the ball and hopefully, I can challenge some of the greats in the world." 

Wolvaardt's cover drive is glorious to watch and probably one of the more pleasing cricket shots you'll ever see (see video above).

It's a technique that has become synonymous with Wolvaardt's style of cricket and it's a shot that she continues to hone.

"The cover drive is always a shot that I enjoyed," she said.

"The last couple of seasons, I tried to work on getting it over the covers even more because I kept on getting stuck to try and go through the whole time. So I'm definitely looking to improve on my game and expand on my options and so far it's been working aright."

The Proteas women returned to international action last month after a 10-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wolvaardt top-scored for the Proteas - scoring 125 runs - as South Africa thrashed Pakistan 3-0 in the three-match ODI series.

Her performance, which included a 58 in the third ODI, saw Wolvaardt move to a career-best seventh position on the ICC Women ODI rankings.

Expanding her shot selection is something that Wolvaardt will be looking to improve ahead of Wednesday's final T20 against Pakistan.

"I prefer my offside to my legside, expanding on my legside is always something I need to work on so just to get that extra boundary option on the legside maybe or just to rotate the strike," she said.

"I try and play as straight as possible, I try and pack away any risky shots and try and keep it simple especially when it's on the slower side."

In one-day cricket, Wolvaardt has cemented her spot as an opening partner to Lizelle Lee. However, in the shortest format of the game, Wolvaardt bats at No 4.

Wolvaardt insists that batting down the order, especially in T20 cricket, is a good move.

"Before I started batting in the lower order, I had an extended run in the T20 series and I guess the performances weren't really there. Moving to the middle has been a good, fresh change for me.

"I have enjoyed coming in and having the field spread so I'm able to rotate early on. So I'm enjoying myself in the middle order and hopefully, I can contribute there and solidify my spot."

The Proteas have sealed the three-match T20 series 2-0 with the final T20 scheduled for Wednesday at 15:30.

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