PREVIEW: South Africa v England T20 World Cup Semi-Final – Calm Reigns In The England Camp

There have been a lot of words expended about what Jon Lewis has brought to the England camp which is different to his predecessors, but one word stood out to me from Danni Wyatt’s eve of semi-final press conference – “calmness”.

“We’re feeling really confident, and more importantly really chilled. We’re all ready for tomorrow,” she said. “Lewy [Jon Lewis] has brought this really calm aura into the team – everyone knows their plan.”

For me, it’s that word which has epitomised England’s approach this World Cup. It meant that they didn’t panic when they found themselves 29 for 3 against India. It meant that they were able to pick themselves up in the midst of a frenetic WPL auction on the day of their game against Ireland. And whenever Nat Sciver-Brunt gets to the crease, a zen-like focus seems to take over.

“She’s as cool as a cucumber, our Nat. Nothing fazes her,” Wyatt said of her teammate, who currently tops the run-scoring charts in this World Cup. “She’s very chilled, and everyone looks at that and it feeds around the team.”

Wyatt herself, fresh from making a half-century against Pakistan, seemed supremely relaxed, joking in the press conference about the team’s experience of getting stuck coming down Table Mountain thanks to load-shedding (periodic power-cuts that are an everyday fact of life in South Africa at the moment) – “I don’t think I’ll be going up that mountain again soon, unless I walk up! I’m not going up that cable-car ever again!” It’s rare to see someone so breezy and composed ahead of a knock-out game.

By contrast, South Africa have had a mad run-up to this semi-final – losing their first game against Sri Lanka after completely losing their heads in what should have been an easy run-chase; before finally inching their way to a nervy win against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

I’m no body language expert, but Sune Luus seemed the opposite of relaxed in her own pre-match press conference. To use a cricketing metaphor, she spent the entire 15 minutes playing defensive shots.

T20 cricket can be a crazy game. But maybe calmness is the way to win a World Cup?

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3 thoughts on “PREVIEW: South Africa v England T20 World Cup Semi-Final – Calm Reigns In The England Camp

  1. “T20 cricket can be a crazy game” – after what happened to Kaur, anything could happen.

    Interesting aside to this article maybe – but was running out Kaur in those circumstances against the Spirit of Cricket ?

    (not that I expect many to sympathise given that ‘mankad’ earlier this year)

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  2. Kaur was a bit unlucky with her bat getting stuck, but I can’t help but feel that India threw this game away from the position they were in at various stages in their innings. Thakur was poor with the ball today, and the top 3 and Ghosh didn’t really turn it on with the bat.

    Australia needed numerous Indian mishaps, bad luck and poor Indian fielding to (just) get the win today. This wasn’t a particularly great India performance, pretty sloppy at times in fact, and they still nearly did it.

    Australia were a bit lucky in the end I felt, they keep winning but I’m getting the increasing feeling of desperation at times from them, when a few years ago it was all so easy… how long can the usual suspects keep coming to their rescue like at the end there?

    Anyway big game tomorrow, I’m not sure if England will be able to keep as calm as you claim they have been against an SA side who will be determined to put on a show for their fans. But whatever happens England have had a great comp so far and been setting the records, which was worth it on its own!

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