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Why Boucher is optimistic of SA's chances at T20 WC

Source: PTI
October 12, 2022 16:46 IST
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.South Africa coach Mark Boucher has backed his team despite a below par showing in the just-concluded tour of India

IMAGE: South Africa coach Mark Boucher has backed his team despite a below par showing in the just-concluded tour of India. Photograph: Pankaj Nangia/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher feels the pitches in Australia will suit the Proteas bowlers but they need to be aggressive to get the results in the T20 World Cup, beginning later this month.


The former wicketkeeper also conceded that keeping players physically and mentally fresh at the marquee event after after-back-to-back tours will be vital.

"Australia will suit our fast bowlers a lot better. We have got some good pace, some good bounce in our attack, so we need to keep the aggression there. I think the last one-day game (against India) we played, there wasn't enough aggression," Boucher said after his side conceded the three-match ODI series 2-1 in New Delhi on Tuesday.

South Africa have been on the road since July, touring the United Kingdom for a full series against England besides playing T20Is against Ireland before touring India for six-white ball games.

“For the T20 stuff, keeping the guys fresh. We have come off a long tour of England straight into India, a couple of guys have been playing in the Caribbean league as well.

“Keeping the guys mentally and physically fresh is going to be vital for the management and myself to monitor."

The Proteas lost both the T20I series and the ODI series to India despite fielding their full-strength team. They were bowled out for 99 in the third ODI, which they lost by seven wickets.

“Surprisingly, India's bowling attack in the ODIs bowled with far more aggression than what we did. We did chat about it and the way Anrich Nortje bowled tonight was a positive sign for me, especially going into conditions where that will be quite effective.”

 “I think we have taken some lessons and we have had good chats behind closed doors to speak about things that we can get better at.

Asked if South Africa, like India, should have fielded two separate teams for the ODIs and T20Is, Boucher said “In a perfect world, yes".

“We saw the benefits of it with the Indian team fresh and bouncing, rearing to go. Ours were maybe a little fatigued. But it's also difficult because we don't have the depth India does. We also had pressure to try and win every game. So, we decided to stick with the squad we thought could win games. But in hindsight, it could have been a better option."

Skipper Temba Bavuma has been woefully out of form since his return from injury and also missed the last two ODI due to illness.

“Temba Bavuma would try to get some sort of form before the World Cup unfortunately he fell ill. We still have two warm-up games. I think the conditions would fit his style of batting. We will try to get him up and running for World Cup.”

Having lost the two ODIs to India, South Africa now risk missing out on direct qualification. They are in a two-way race with Sri Lanka and have to win three of their remaining matches against England and Netherlands.

“That's not ideal and the reason is that we have not had continuity in our ODI team and there's been various reasons for that - players leaving to come to the IPL, COVID etc."

The matches against Netherlands are likely to clash with the IPL.

“There has been inconsistency. Come January, the guys know what is required against England and Netherlands and if we don't, we just got to accept the fact that we have to play the qualifiers. We understand the situation we are in,” Boucher said.

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