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IND vs SA: “The Crowd We Got In Was Quite Decent And It Just Felt Home, So I Love Being Back Here”- Nadine de Klerk

In the aftermath of a sobering 143-run defeat to India in the first ODI, South African all-rounder Nadine de Klerk addressed the media with a blend of optimism and determination. Despite the loss, de Klerk emphasized the team’s preparedness and readiness to tackle the challenges ahead.

“I think we’ve had a good couple of meetings and we know exactly what we need to do,” Nadine de Klerk began. “Unfortunately, the result the other day, all credit has to go to India for the way they played and put us under pressure, but I think tomorrow’s a new game and we start fresh and we’re ready for whatever challenge gets thrown at us. We’re hoping to put up a better performance than we did the other day.”

Reflecting on the match, Nadine de Klerk acknowledged the shortcomings of the batting lineup. “Yeah, probably didn’t get enough runs on the ball, I think, with the bat. We felt like we did a pretty good job with the ball, you know, restricting them to 260. I just think with the ball, this spin has gone really well and we just couldn’t get going. Losing three wickets in the power play was always going to be really hard to chase a score of 270, and then I think that just put a lot of pressure on the middle order as well.”

Despite the setbacks, de Klerk highlighted the positives, particularly the bowling attack’s performance. “Again, I think we’ve done really well with the ball and I think India just did much better. They had a big partnership which we didn’t have with the bat. Smriti Mandhana played a really good innings and it really took the game away from us, but I still think our bowlers are doing a pretty good job.”

Amidst the analysis and strategy discussions, Nadine de Klerk took a moment to express her fondness for playing in Bengaluru. “Yeah, I know, it’s been great being back in Bengaluru,” Nadine de Klerk shared warmly. “The wickets didn’t go well, the one game we played hasn’t quite played the same when we were here, but I mean, it’s just been, it’s just great being back here. The crowd we got in was quite decent as well, and it just felt home, so I love being back here.”

The team’s preparation has been hindered by some challenges, including injuries and illness. “I think with Marizanne [Kapp], it’s still being managed at the moment, so it’s all up to the medical team and our captain to make that decision on the day. But apart from that, everybody’s fit and ready to go. We’ve had a bit of illness going around, but I think everybody’s fit and ready to go.”

De Klerk also spoke about the importance of integrating new players into the squad and finding the right balance. “Yeah, I think it’s really important. We have a few new faces. We had a debut the other day, so I guess it’s about finding the right balance within the side, about who’s going to be the six or seven bowlers that are going to do the job, especially in these conditions.”

Adapting to Indian conditions and playing spin effectively remains a crucial area for improvement. “Probably the way we play spin. I think it’s definitely for us how we play spin. We have to sit down and get our own way to let the milk for five and six runs and over.”

Reflecting on the first game, de Klerk noted the difficult conditions and credited India’s bowlers. “I think it looked like pretty slow from the start. It didn’t look easy when they were batting as well, and we probably expected it to play a bit better under lights. I do think it became a bit harder with these spinners.”

However, there were some bright spots for South Africa, including the promising debut of Annerie Deckersen.

“I think she’s a real good prospect for South African cricket. You know, she can absolutely hit bombs, and she makes a few of the batters jump around in the net. But she’s an exciting cricketer, and I think we all saw what she has to offer. I’m just so excited to see what she’s going to bring to South African cricket going forward. I really think she’s going to become one of the better all-rounders in world cricket, so really pleased for her to make a debut in the previous game, and hopefully there’s still plenty of games to come for South Africa.”

The stakes are high as South Africa aims to secure direct qualification for the World Cup. “I guess when you play international cricket, there’s always a bit of pressure, to be honest. Especially if you come to India and you play them in their backyard. Especially if you come to India and you play them in their backyard, you know, it’s going to be a massive challenge, especially with the World Cup being over here in India, but I do think that does play a part. We all know how important it is, and you want to qualify directly. We do compete against these big teams, especially in their backyard, so the main goal would definitely be to get away tomorrow and go into a deciding loss game and try and win the series.”

“I think she’s a really calm person” – Nadine de Klerk on Laura Wolvaardt

Laura Wolvaardt was as articulate as her stunning cover drives in the Press Conference ahead of the Sri Lanka series [Image: Getty]
Laura Wolvaardt was as articulate as her stunning cover drives in the Press Conference ahead of the Sri Lanka series [Image: Getty]
While reflecting on the team’s performance and looking ahead to the next game, Nadine de Klerk took a moment to commend her Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate, Asha Sobhana, who had an outstanding debut for India with figures of 4/21.

“Yeah, I guess being on the receiving end of it is never nice and we would have liked to win the game,” Nadine de Klerk admitted. “But I’m really pleased for her as well. Obviously, she spent quite a bit of time over here in India. I think to start off with, you know, she’s a really lovely person first of all. It just shows the determination and the hunger and desire to play for her country.

It doesn’t matter which country you’re from or if you’re teammates or on the opposite side. I think it just shows so much hard work and desire for a lot of young girls around the world, not just in India, I think for a lot of our girls as well. And yeah, I’m just so pleased for her.”

Nadine de Klerk’s admiration for Sobhana’s performance was clear, despite the impact it had on her own team’s outcome. “Hopefully we get the better of her tomorrow and she doesn’t put up the same performance. But in the same breath, I’m really pleased for her. And yeah, I wish her all the best for the rest of her career, even though she’s a bit of a late bloomer. It’s great to see her perform so well for India.”

Nadine de Klerk acknowledged the leadership of captain Laura Wolvaardt, who continues to grow in her role. “I think she’s a really calm person, Laura Wolvaardt. I really think captaincy suits her. I think she’s still learning and she’s still figuring out how she wants to go about it.”

As the team prepares for the next match, Nadine de Klerk remains hopeful and determined. “I think we’ve touched on a lot of things and hopefully we can be better in tomorrow’s game. It’s a perfect opportunity for us to bounce back and find ways to score some runs. We’ve been doing a lot of hard work over the last couple of months, so this is the perfect opportunity to give certain players the chance to go out there and work on those things. Having that historical win in Australia, obviously, we’ve had a few losses along the way as well, but that’s the name of the game.”

She further added, We are going to lose some games, but I think she’s just really calm. She understands the game. She’s really experienced as well, although she’s still pretty young. For now, it’s just learning her for her at the moment. She already has two or three hundred as a captain already, you know, beating Australia twice. It’s something that we’ve never done before. It’s real special and I think that is just the beginning of it. Obviously, her betting has gone through the roof as well after taking over as captain. So, yeah, we’ll definitely bounce back after the win.”

With a resilient spirit and a focus on improvement, South Africa aims to turn the tide in the remaining matches of the series, fully aware of the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.

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