AUS v SA: Meg and Mignon, two of a kind

"Our preparation has been among the best that we have had. We have come off a very competitive series against England and West Indies at home," said Mignon.

Australian Women's Cricket team captain Meg Lanning addressing a press conference after her team's practice session at the VCA stadium in Nagpur on Thursday.   -  PTI

Meg Lanning and Mignon Du Preez are popular in Australia and South Africa, respectively, because of their batting prowess. The only difference, though, is that that 23-year-old from Victoria, Meg, has been a part of two Australian teams that won the previous two editions of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20, the 2012 tournament in Colombo and then Mirpur in 2014.

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Lanning is now a young captain, carrying the weight of the Australian team looking to prove its supremacy for the fourth time in a row, on her shoulders. The 26-year-old South African captain Mignon on the other hand simply expressed happiness at her team’s preparation for the big event in India. But both the captains knew the perils of making odd predictions and refused to name a favourite before their match at the VCA stadium at Jamtha on Friday.





On Thursday, the proteas had a long training session with a number of local girls at the Vidarbha Cricket Association’s Civil Lines stadium. Monitoring all the activity was Vincent Barnes, High Performance Manager, Cricket South Africa and coach of women’s team at the World T20 event.

Du preez, who recently became the first South African cricketer to cross 1000 runs, said in a press conference: “Our preparation has been among the best that we have had. We have come off a very competitive series against England and West Indies at home. We also prepared in conditions that would be similar to India; in Durban where it is humid and in East London where the pitches are slower and lower. We also had two days of good training in India. Preparation-wise, we have ticked all the boxes.”

The Australian captain, Meg, was very tactful. “We are starting even with every other team in this World Cup. We don’t get any bonuses for winning the last one. Everyone starts on an even keel. There are a number of teams who will be competing to win. We came up against India not too long ago and they played some exciting cricket and beat us 2-1. There’s also New Zealand and West Indies; so there are a number of sides capable of winning. We have got to be at our best to get past the group stage.’’

TEAMS:

Australia: Meg Lanning, Alex Blackwell, Kristen Beams, Nicola Carey, Lauran Cheatle, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani

South Africa: Mignon Du Preez, Trisha Chetty, Moseline Daniels, Dinesh Devnarain, Odine Kirsten, Yolani Fourie, Chloe Tryon, Shamnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Ayabonga Khaka, Lizelle Lee, Marcia Letsoalo, Sune Luus, DaneVan Niuekerk