Chloe Tryon: Proteas Women need more red-ball cricket to compete

South Africa's Chloe Tryon celebrates the wicket of India's Yastika Bhatia during the Women's Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and India at Hagley Oval in Christchurch

Following their crushing defeat in the once-off Test against hosts Australia last week, Chloe Tryon felt that it showed that the Proteas would improve even more if they played more long-format cricket. Picture: Sanka Vidanagama/AFP

Published Feb 19, 2024


Imagine being asked to sit down and take a tertiary maths exam without having attended any classes for two years. And prior to that, the last time you opened a maths text book was while still in primary school.

Well, that’s essentially the challenge the Proteas Women’s team faced in the one-off Test against Australia at the Waca last week. While Test cricket is a rarity for the Aussies, too, they had at least faced India in Mumbai recently to acclimatise to the longest format.

The Proteas, meanwhile, last faced the red ball in England in 2022 and before that way back in 2014. To place matters in further context, Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry’s 13 Test matches was more than the cumulative total number of caps within the entire Proteas Test side.

Without wanting to make excuses for their innings and 284-run defeat to the Aussies, Proteas all-rounder Nadine de Klerk felt that had the tourists been given an opportunity of a warm-up match, they would no doubt have given a better account of themselves.

More preparation needed

“As South Africans we don’t play (red-ball cricket) at home,” De Klerk said. “It’s quite difficult to compete at Test level if you only play one Test every two or three years. It becomes really difficult.

“That (playing a warm-up game) would definitely help us as a side, trying to figure it out quicker than playing a Test match maybe every two or three years.

“When we played in England, we played a warm-up game before the actual Test and I really think that’s important in any format of the game.”

The Proteas certainly improved with the bat at the second time of asking. After falling for 76 and then conceding a mammoth 575-9 declared, the visitors showed greater defiance.

Both debutant Delmi Tucker (64) and Chloe Tryon (64) struck half-centuries, while Tazmin Brits also showed good application during her 127-ball stay at the crease for 31.It allowed the Proteas to build partnerships.

Tryon felt that it showed that the Proteas would improve even more if they played more long-format cricket.

“That shows a lot of character, I think. From having our backs against the wall to come up like that shows a lot about a player,” Tryon said of Tucker’s innings.

“We would have loved to push it to (another day) but there’s a lot of learnings and a lot of positives we can take from it. We’d love to play more red-ball and multi-format series are obviously a really good challenge ... I’ve loved watching Test cricket from when I was young.”

The Proteas’ next assignment is an incoming tour by Sri Lanka, but the matches will be confined to white-ball cricket.


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