Cape Town – Ever-improving Proteas opener Lizelle Lee is
revelling in what she calls her best tour for South Africa so far, even though
she admits that she is feeling mentally drained after returning from England.
The 26-year-old topped the overall averages in the
three-match One-Day International Series, which the tourists lost 2-1, while
she was the second highest scorer for her side in the Twenty20 Tri-Series that
also involved New Zealand.
“I think it was one of my best tours so far considering the
runs I scored,” she commented.
“Before the tour, I think I just went back to my
basic stuff like trying to be more composed and not trying to hit from ball
one. I was just playing it easy and taking each match and conditions as they
Lee scored an aggregate of 211 runs to top the batting
averages for both sides at 105 in the three 50-over games. This included one
century and one 50. She was the second best amongst the South Africans in the
four T20 matches, recording a total of 122 runs that was led by a top-score of
While she shone with the bat, Lee however did struggle with
her wicketkeeping, an added responsibility she had to assume after the
selectors opted to maximise her all-round ability.
“It (wicket keeping) drained me a lot mentally this tour,”
“It was a bit tricky to have to do it. But I must mention
that at least it did not affect my other areas of the game like batting. If
anything, it seemed to benefit me.
“Going forward I think I will only learn from the
experience. Will I do it again? Of course I will, this was a learning curve for
me and at the end of day it’s my job and I’ll work hard to improve at it.
Hopefully they do ask me again and hopefully I can do it better next time.”
Lee also paid tribute to the youngster opposite her at the
top of the South African batting order – Laura Wolvaardt. The 19-year-old has
had a sensational few months, and even though she did not set the world on fire
in England, she had a solid enough tour to further enhance her credentials.
It seemed that just her presence has helped her partner flourish.
“I think in the last few months having Wolfie (Wolvaardt) on
the other side has really helped me,” Lee continued.
“She is just such a calm and
collected player. She has all the shots in the book and it’s something I am
striving for as well.
“She’s just calmed me down and I’ve realised now that with
her opposite me, I don’t have to go at it from ball one and that’s been a big
factor as well which has helped me mature into a better one-day player. I’m
really glad about that.”
Lee also spoke about her responsibility changing in the
team. She wants to become a run machine for South Africa, rather than be a
quick gun at the top of the order.
“When people think of me, they refer to me as a big-hitting
player and I think that does come off most of the time,” she adds.
something I want to change in my ODI game. I don’t want to be known as the big
hitter, I want to be someone who can bat through an innings for my side and
play the situation as it is. It’s something I tried this series and I believe
it worked well for me.”