JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CMC) — Seasoned fast bowler Shakera Selman says “quality” preparation here over the last week has left West Indies Women in “a good space” ahead of their four-match One-Day International series against South Africa Women starting here Friday.
The Caribbean side are using the tour as their final build-up to the ICC 50-over World Cup in New Zealand in March, and Selman believes the training along with Tuesday's warm-up victory against a South Africa Women XI has proved a major benefit for the unit.
“We are very confident now, and after winning that game yesterday we would've played against some of the girls who are going to play for the Proteas Women come Friday,” Selman told a media conference on Wednesday.
“We did well against Pakistan, both in the Caribbean and in Pakistan [last year]. Unfortunately, we only got one game in Zimbabwe before the World Cup Qualifiers were called off but we did win that game, so we are in a good space.
“We're very confident [but] we aren't taking South Africa lightly. We know that they're a really strong team — they're higher ranked than we are.
“They did really well against us when they came to the Caribbean [last year]. Now we're here to repay that favour and get as much practice and be in a better space going into the World Cup.
“We haven't done well at previous World Cups so we're really hoping to be in a really good space heading over to New Zealand.”
Selman is one of several seamers, along with new-ball partner Shamilia Connell, Aaliyah Alleyne and rookie Cherry-Ann Fraser, who will be relishing the friendly conditions at the Wanderers.
With South Africa's pitches renowned for their carry, the 32-year-old Selman said the tour would also help the Caribbean side's batsmen properly acclimatise for the New Zealand showpiece from March 4 to April 3.
“The pitches are a bit different to the ones in the Caribbean. They're a lot faster and there is more bounce and the ball seams around for a lot longer than it does in the Caribbean, but we are enjoying the conditions,” she explained.
“I think we've had really quality practice sessions… and it bodes well for the team.
“I think the main difference we will see when we get to New Zealand is that New Zealand is probably going to be a lot colder than it is here.
“The weather does fluctuate here a bit but most days have been really hot. The conditions have been very humid.
“As it relates to the pitches, we are going to get good batting pitches here and in New Zealand and we are going to see the ball bounce a bit, so they're quite similar in that regard.”
Selman, the side's most experienced seamer with 87 games in both white-ball formats, said she was focusing on fine-tuning her strengths so she can properly execute her role in the side.
“My main goal is to get my rhythm right heading into the World Cup. As long as I am in a good rhythm, I have no doubt I'll bowl well,” she said.
“Hopefully, that rhythm brings wickets with it but my main job is to have a [good] economy rate. Anyone who has been following my career would've seen that my economy rate is my strong point.
“So if I can keep my economy rate as low as possible, then the other bowlers can take the wickets. I have absolutely no problem with that.”