Van Niekerk upbeat over Proteas' chances in England

Dane Van Niekerk (Gallo Images)
Dane Van Niekerk (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk says her troops are excited and up for the massive challenge of facing World Cup winners, England in their own backyard.

The Proteas women face England in the first of three ODIs on Saturday in Worcester.

"We're quite excited. We know it's going to be a big challenge," said Van Niekerk.

"They are the World Cup winners and we know what they can bring in. They are fierce competitors, so we are quite excited to see how we are going to match up against them."

England defeated South Africa twice in Bristol during last year's Women's Cricket World Cup - by 68 runs in a high-scoring league match and by two wickets with only two balls remaining in the semi-final - and that is something South Africa want to rectify.

"The World Cup was a great experience for us. We know the conditions really well. We will see what they give us. Last time was a bitter pill to swallow so it will be good to rectify what went wrong," she said.

"As a captain, I will always back my team and I will say we have a very good chance against them. We have several world-class players in our side as do they. I think it is going to be a great match up and a very good series to be part of."

South Africa are looking to fast bowlers Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka to make the most of the English conditions.

"I have always loved our bowling, backed our bowling. I'm expected to see what our bowlers can do in these conditions," said the Proteas captain.

"We have spoken a lot about our plans, in depth planning. If the batters start firing, we are as dangerous as any other batting unit in the world."

In their respective first series, England lost 1-2 to Australia in an away tour while South Africa lost by the same margin to India at home.

Series schedule:

June 9 - 1st ODI, Worcester

June 12 - 2nd ODI, Hove

June 15 - 3rd ODI, Canterbury

The squads:

England: Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Nat Sciver, Sarah Taylor, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt

South Africa: Dané van Niekerk (captain), Tazmin Brits, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Stacey Lackay,.Lizelle Lee, Suné Luus, Zintle Mali, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Mignon du Preez, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt

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