Tough challenge for South Africa in women's World Cup: Captain

Dubai, Jan 9 (IANS) South African cricket captain Mignon du Preez has said the competition in the ICC Women's World Cup will be tough but her team has both the talent and skills to do well.

Souh Africa have been clubbed in Group B with Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan for the tournament that will be held in Mumbai from Jan 31. Du Preez said her team is in a strong group but the players are ready for a strong challenge.

"We're facing tough competition but we've got the talent and skills to do well. Australia will most probably be our toughest competition in the group stage. They are the current ICC World Twenty20 champions; probably giving them huge confidence going into the tournament," said Du Preez in an interview.

The diminutive batsman said the pressure is also on England.

"However, they are also under a lot of pressure to win this World Cup after recently defeating the current ICC Women's World Cup champions, England, in the final of the ICC WT20. They are very good in all three aspects of the game and have quite a few star players with lots of experience like Lisa Sthalekar, Jodie Fields, Ellyse Perry, Alex Blackwell, Jess Cameron and Meg Lanning," said Du Preez.

New Zealand, the runners up from the 2009 event will also prove a big challenge says the 23-year-old from Pretoria.

"Facing the runners-up from the last ICC Women's World Cup in our opening game is definitely going to be a big challenge for us. They are also a very strong side and have made it to the semi-finals and finals numerous times in both formats.

"We have recently played them in the ICC World Twenty20 and we saw that the gap between us and them has definitely closed. We know what we can expect from them, so we just have to work on a few things from our side and ensure that when the momentum is on our side, we need to keep it with us. They also have a lot of experienced players like captain Suzie Bates, bowler Nicola Browne plus the likes of Sara McGlashan, Sian Ruck and Amy Satterthwaite," she said.

Du Preez also feels that Pakistan can always spring a surprise.

"Playing against a sub-continent side in the sub-continent is never going to be an easy task especially with the way they have improved over the past few years," admitted Du Preez.

"However, Pakistan will be our main target to help us secure a spot in the Super Sixes. We have quite a good track record against Pakistan and hopefully we can keep it that way. In our recent encounter at the ICC World Twenty20, we had managed to come out on top and have a bit of momentum going for us. Their bowling attack is very powerful and they also have star players like Sana Mir, Nain Abidi, Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »