South Africa | Proteas women in 'good spirits' despite facing tough quarantine period in India

Proteas women's coach Hilton Moreeng insists that his side are prepared for their opening ODI against India despite not having an adequate amount of training.

The Proteas arrived in the sub-continent on Saturday and have been in quarantine for six days. That means they will only be allowed two days of training ahead of the first ODI on Sunday.

The entire tour will be played in a bio-secure bubble in Lucknow, which consists of five ODIs and three T20Is.

With the tour only confirmed last week, Moreeng and his side have not had the ideal preparation ahead of their tough Indian assignment.

The squad have not trained together since their Pakistan series triumph two weeks ago with their first training session scheduled for Friday.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Moreeng revealed that his side is looking forward to finishing their quarantine period.

"It's very different from what we've had at home with the six days of quarantine. The players have been in good spirits as they look forward to the last day tomorrow and eventually, we can start practising," said Moreeng.

"We can't wait to get a little bit of fresh air and start playing cricket. It was taxing on everyone in the first two days, but players have started to adapt. Yes, it's been different and challenging.

"You need to take control with what you can and execute on the day. Although there are two days of preparation before the first game, a lot of work has been done."

South Africa come off a successful home series against Pakistan last month, winning the ODI 3-0 and T20 series 2-1 comfortably.

The Proteas women have never played in Lucknow before, however, Moreeng hopes that his side's triumph over Pakistan on a slow Kingsmead wicket could help them at Ekana Stadium.

"We take a lot of confidence from it as a team. We got our desired result by adapting to the conditions especially it being our first tour post-Covid-19," he said.

"Now we're in India, where we anticipate similar conditions but you never know. Overall, maybe it was a blessing in disguise that we had those kind of conditions building up to this tour."

The Proteas women last toured India in 2019 when they lost the ODI series 3-0 and fell to a 3-1 defeat during the T20I leg of the trip.

Moreeng believes that his side might have the upper-hand considering this is India's first international series since last year's T20 World Cup final loss to Australia.

"Indian conditions are tough for any touring team so we know some of our players and management have been exposed to these conditions," he said.

"We've been here before though our last visit to India wasn't a joyful one. We've learnt a lot from that and those youngsters then are now back again. For us, it's to make sure the consistency continues. It's going to be new for us and we don't have new information (on the pitch) but it'll be a good experience.

"We have a head start as we have a series ahead of them so we hope that'll count in our favour and we'll see how the series unfolds."

Sune Luus will take over the captaincy armband once again as Dane van Niekerk remains injured.

Moreeng stated that Van Niekerk is entering her "last phase" of recovery and that she could be "ready to go in April". 

Meanwhile, Chloe Tryon still has "one or two more months to go" with the coach revealing that the Proteas all-rounder has been making good progress.

The Proteas 17-player squad still boasts an experienced line-up with the likes of Marizanne Kapp, Mignon du Preez and Shabnim Ismail.

Moreeng is looking forward to seeing his experienced players' thrive as they build towards the 2022 T20 World Cup in New Zealand.

"We're playing against one of the best in their conditions and we're looking forward to the test. This series is also going to give us a lot of answers as we build the team towards a World Cup in 2022," said Moreeng.

"These youngsters are slowly maturing and it's great to see the way they're improving. What's great to see that when we do have a senior player missing out, there are always a couple around that these youngsters can play with and guide them. So we're blessed with talent coming through."

Full Tour Schedule:

12 March - 3rd ODI - India women v Proteas

20 March - 1st T20I - India women v Proteas

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