Hilton Moreeng, coach of the South African women’s team, says his players are itching to get out of quarantine and start physically preparing for their series against India that begins here on Sunday.
South Africa arrived in the sub-continent on Saturday for the tour, which comprises five One-day Internationals and three Twenty20s, all to be played within a bio-secure environment (BSE) in Lucknow.
Wednesday was the fifth of the six-day quarantine for the South Africans as they embark on their first away tour of since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. But Moreeng believes they were well prepared for the protocol that had awaited them in the Asian country.
“We knew what to expect before we arrived so we all were prepared for it. I think all the players have now been exposed to bubble life, this being our second tour that we play within a BSE,” he said at a media briefing on Wednesday.
“The difference this time is the six days that we have to quarantine. But the players have been in good spirits and they’re all looking ahead to the last day tomorrow. Then we’ll be able to go out and have an opportunity to prepare for a series against very tough opposition. Everyone is looking forward to it.”
Following their exit from the BSE, South Africa will have two days of training before facing the formidable India in the first ODI on Sunday at the Ekana Stadium.
The last time South Africa toured India was back in September and October 2019 when they lost the ODI series 0-3 and fell to a 1-3 defeat during the T20I leg of the trip.
Moreeng was also the coach at the time, but he says they learnt a lot from that experience.
“We know Indian conditions are not easy for any touring team, so we’re expecting them to be tough,” he explained. “Most of us have been exposed to these conditions as well, having come here before.”