Captain Stafanie Taylor was left out of Sunday’s all-important fourth One-Day International (ODI) against the South African Women, dealing a blow to the West Indies women ahead of the Wanderers decider.
The 30-year-old suffered a concussion in last Thursday’s third ODI at the same venue when she was hit in the helmet by a short ball from Nadine de Klerk as she beat in the 13th.
She tried to continue but pulled out injured in the next all-out on 13 as the West Indies women failed in their bid to pursue a towering 300 goal, losing by 96 runs.
Chedean Nation will also miss the contest after sustaining a neck injury in the same game while on the court which also left her unable to strike.
Experienced fly-half Kycia Knight, who scored half a century in the last game, said the team were ready to make up for the duo’s absence.
“I think it will be a great opportunity for us to step up and show the depth that we have in this formation,” Knight told the media.
“Staf is a great player for us, Chedean is doing well for us too but I really think the opportunity [on Sunday] is for some of the young players, inexperienced players, to show what they can do on the big stage.
She added: “The approach will be that everyone has to step up to this final ODI. It will also be crucial that we are clinical in all three aspects, not just the batting department, [but] the field and the bowling also to help us emerge victorious tomorrow.
Fast bowler Shamilia Connell, the spearhead of the tour team’s fast bowling offense, agreed with Knight.
“I believe the team is well balanced and anyone can come in and step in for any position that has been opened up,” she said.
“We have prepared well, so any opportunity given, every player should be able to step up.”
The West Indies women are aware that they will have to stop the hosts’ powerful hitting machine led by flyhalf Laura Wolvaardt, who scored her third ODI cent in the last outing.
Knight said an improved effort on the pitch would be needed to limit the South Africans.
“We will definitely have to use those two new balls up front and in particular the field serve, they will definitely have to help the bowlers,” she explained.
“Some opportunities have presented themselves for the last three ODIs and I think we really need to clean up on the pitch and that can certainly put pressure on the South African batters.”