Southern Stars v South Africa
Stars won't underestimate SA
WBBL stars Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk feature in South Africa's squad to take on the world champions
8 November 2016, 11:55 AM AEST
Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars coach Matthew Mott is adamant his team won't take South Africa lightly in their upcoming one-day international series.
Australia have never lost to the Proteas in eight ODIs and four Twenty20s and South Africa currently sit fifth on the ICC Women's Championship table.
But the Proteas are a side on the improve, having claimed an historic first-ever T20 win over England in Cape Town in February, before notching another first – an ODI win over New Zealand – in Kimberley last month in a series they ultimately lost 5-2.
Quick single: Southern Stars name ODI squad to play SA
Cricket South Africa named a 14-player squad for their tour Down Under on Monday night, featuring three players who were part of the first edition of the Rebel Women's Big Bash League – captain Dane van Niekerk, allrounder Marizanne Kapp and batter Mignon du Preez.
South Africa squad: Dane van Niekerk, Dinesha Devnarain, Anneke Bosch, Mignon du Preez, Masabata Klaas, Lara Goodall, Chloe Tryon, Suné Luus, Odine Kirsten, Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp, Moseline Daniels, Ayabonga Khaka, Sinalo Jafta
However, the Proteas remain without dangerous fast bowler Shabnim Ismail and wicketkeeper-batter Trisha Chetty. The pair also missed the home ODI series against New Zealand, with CSA explaining they were "currently subject to a disciplinary hearing in terms of CSA’s Code of Conduct", and would not be considered for selection.
Batter Laura Wolvaardt has also been ruled out due to a broken collarbone.
Ismail, one of the world's fastest female bowlers, made an immediate impact in the first of her two WBBL appearances for Melbourne Renegades last summer, stunning the Stars by taking 4-10.
While her absence will be felt, other dangers lurk in the Proteas line-up, which will take on the Australians in five ODIs in Canberra, Sydney and Coffs Harbour between November 18 and 29.
After an away series whitewash against Sri Lanka in September, Mott says his team is looking forward to testing themselves against stronger opposition.
"SA will be a good solid test for us I think," Mott told cricket.com.au. "They've just beaten New Zealand for the first time.
"It will be a good challenge for us at home to see if we've made the improvements we think we have made against world-class bowlers in van Niekerk and Kapp."
Quick single: Mott calls for Stars to up the ante against SA
South Africa captain van Niekerk also lined up for the Renegades last summer, while allrounder Kapp played a major role in the Sydney Sixers' march to the WBBL|01 final.
The Australian team had a taste of exactly how dangerous the Proteas can be in February, reduced to 3-9 chasing 103 in their opening match of the Women's World T20 in India, after Ismail removed openers Elyse Villani and Alyssa Healy and Kapp claimed the prized wicket of Ellyse Perry.
Only a remarkable 19-ball 30no from skipper Meg Lanning – who dragged herself to the crease at No.6 after missing the toss and half of South Africa's innings due to an inopportune bout of gastro – and an unbeaten 42 from a typically unflappable Alex Blackwell saved the Southern Stars from a shock defeat in Nagpur.
Van Niekerk, who took over as Proteas captain earlier this year, said she hoped her experience in the WBBL would come in handy as her team looks to upset the world No.1 Australians.
"It’s safe to say that this is going to be a massive tour for us and we’re all ready to face this challenge head on," van Niekerk said.
"I’m excited to be able to play in conditions that aren’t dissimilar to our own conditions at home and Kapp du Preez and I have already spent quite a lot of time with the team and management discussing our experiences of the conditions there when we were playing in the WBBL."
Entry to all five day-night matches is FREE, with all the action to be streamed live on cricket.com.au and on the Cricket Australia Live App.
Australia v South Africa ODIs
18 November: Manuka Oval, Canberra*
20 November: Manuka Oval, Canberra*
23 November: North Sydney Oval, Sydney*
27 November: Coffs Harbour International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
29 November: Coffs Harbour International Stadium, Coffs Harbour* ICC Women's Championship matches