No complacency for Devine after warm-up reality check
Sophie Devine says her pre-tournament form means nothing ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and nerves will certainly kick in when she walks out at the WACA.
- New Zealand are looking for their first ICC Women’s T20 World Cup title
- Devine says nerves will definitely be there but channelled as a strength
- New Zealand face Sri Lanka to start their Women’s T20 World Cup campaign at the WACA
The New Zealand skipper has been in the form of her life of late, hitting five consecutive 50+ scores ahead of the tournament, but a duck in the first warm-up against England offered her a reality check.
And with the likes of Sri Lanka spinner Shashikala Siriwardena in equally-impressive form, Devine knows past performances alone won’t fire the White Ferns to victory on Saturday.
“With T20 cricket you can be in the form of your life but still receive a peach of a delivery and be out for a duck,” said Devine.
“We’ve been trying to train and prepare ourselves as best as possible for whatever happens.
“I think it’s a really special feeling to feel nervous, it’s something that you take on board but if you say that you aren’t nervous, I’m not sure you care as much because the opportunity to play at a World Cup is a very special time for everyone involved.
“We feel we are a great side and on our day we’ll be a huge threat. We can go deep to this tournament if we stick to what our strengths are.”
New Zealand will go into their opener as favourites but Devine is well aware of the Sri Lankan threat, their Group A opponents having caught England off-guard during the warm-up period in Adelaide.
Captain Chamari Atapattu stole the show - hitting an unbeaten 78 against England’s impressive array of bowlers - and Devine knows she will be a crucial early wicket if they want to take the win at the WACA.
“She can not only work you in the gaps square of the wicket but, because she has the strength, she can bop you over the top as well,” added the 30-year-old of her fellow opener.
“You certainly know you can’t miss by much because she will punish you.
“There are certainly no easy games in this competition and as soon as you take any team lightly, they’ll turn around and bite you in the backside.
“We certainly know that Sri Lanka is going to be a really tough game for us.”