After an intense training camp over the past week, the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s have completed their preparations ahead of the first Youth One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan on Saturday in Chatsworth, Durban.
The seven-match series, which takes place from 22 June – 07 July in Chatsworth and Pietermaritzburg, marks an important step in both team’s preparations for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to be hosted in South Africa early next year.
Head coach, Lawrence Mahatlane is pleased with the team’s efforts during the training camp while highlighting the conditions they have prepared to play on at the Chatsworth Oval.
“I am excited. The boys have really worked hard,” Mahatlane said during the pre-match presser on Friday. “One of the things we tried to do differently this year was to select the side a bit earlier, to give the guys an opportunity to prepare, and in the week that they have been here at camp with us, it has shown that they’ve put in a bit of work prior to today.
“This time of the year, they are very sub-continent type wickets anyway here in South Africa, it is the middle of our winter. It is about our own disciplines and it is about executing our own skill, what we’ve worked on and what the individuals understand we need to do.
“So, from our point of view, there’s been a lot of talk about our execution.” he continued.
The SA under-19s come into this series on the back of a tour to India in February, where they finished third in a Youth ODI quadrangular series, featuring India U19s ‘A’ and ‘B’ and Afghanistan U19s, with Mahatlane’s team claiming two victories over the latter.
Pakistan arrives following a narrow, 3-2 series victory over Sri Lanka U19s at the start of the month.
All-rounder, Gerald Coetzee, one of the most experienced players in the team, having played as a 16-year-old in the U19 World Cup in 2018 believes the team will stick to what they know going into this series and wants each player to take care of his own game to help the team’s efforts.
“We haven’t prepared much differently to other tours,” Coetzee stated on the eve of the encounter. “They are an under-19 team, the same level as us, both teams can be beaten on the day, so there’s nothing special to it. If we all do our processes today and pitch tomorrow, wanting to play, it’s a fair game. So, we will see tomorrow how it turns out.
“It’s just about taking responsibility. In a day like today, you know what to eat, what time you should go to bed and then start thinking about tomorrow and what you want to do. There’s not a big thing about it, I think in the team, we’ve played over one thousand matches. It’s just another game of cricket,” he concluded.
Tomorrow’s clash will get underway at 09h00 with live updates available on Cricket South Africa’s official Twitter page https://twitter.com/OfficialCSA and Facebook page https://web.facebook.com/CricketSouthAfrica/?ref=bookmarks&_rdc=1&_rdr.
Coca-Cola South Africa U19 squad: Bryce Parsons (captain, Gauteng), Luke Beaufort (Eastern Province), Jonathan Bird (Western Province), Achille Cloete (Boland), Gerald Coetzee (Free State), Khanya Cotani (North West), Micheal Copeland (Gauteng), Andrew Louw (Free State), Akeem Minnaar (Boland), Lifa Ntanzi (KZN Coastal), Imraan Philander (Western Province), Siya Plaatjie (Western Province), Ruan Terblanche (Boland), Tiaan van Vuuren (Eastern Province), Nonelela Yika (Border).
Sat 22: 1st Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Chatsworth Oval)
Tue 25: 2nd Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Thu 27: 3rd Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Sun 30: 4th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Tue 02: 5th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Fri 05: 6th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Chatsworth Oval)
Sun 07: 7th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Chatsworth Oval)