Mark Boucher says he’s as frustrated as the South African public, about the results of the Proteas, but believes the team is still on the right path.
JOHANNESBURG – Mark Boucher says he’s as frustrated as the South African public, about the results of the Proteas, but believes the team is still on the right path and that it will be better to judge them once all the IPL players and skipper Temba Bavuma return.
South Africa’s 3-1 series loss to Pakistan, means the team has lost all five T20 series’ it has played since Boucher took over as head coach.
The match by match record reads: four wins and 12 losses. Two of those series’ were against England, arguably one of the favourites for the T20 World Cup later this year and it was the second of those series’ – earlier this season – which indicated to the players that they had to adopt a new strategy for the shortest format.
“I want to win, and we haven’t won the series’ which is frustrating, not only for me, but the coaching staff, the management, the players and no doubt the public.”
“The players came up with the way they want to play, which is a nice position for us and we can just try and guide them in that direction. I said from the start, there was a lot of hard work to be done, and we are working hard in all aspects of our game.”
Boucher and his coaching staff are now under enormous pressure, something he accepts.
“I take a massive amount of responsibility as I should. I don’t shy away from it, I never have. I’m extremely hurt at the moment, so is the rest of the management and coaching staff. We put a lot of hard work into this.”
And that hard work will continue. “There is no panic for me yet, because I understand that we have been given some trying circumstances over the last period of time. We’ll continue to put in the hard work. I’ll be going home now, take a week’s break with my family and then I’ll get back into it again.”
The Covid pandemic, injuries, the IPL and even the cancelled tour by Australia, have all played a part in South Africa having to call on players that normally may not have been given a chance at international level.
“I’m the type of guy, you get dealt cards and you have to try and win with those cards. The guys that came in, there were a few players who can hold their heads high,” Boucher said.
“Although we lost as a team, there were some fantastic individual performances that we can be very proud of. We can see that the next group of players are a little bit rough around the edges, they perform well in certain pockets of the game but in international cricket you can’t perform in pockets, you need an all round polished up game to win matches.”
South Africa’s next assignment is a tour to the West Indies in June, where the team will play two Tests and five T20 Internationals. Boucher hopes to have all the players currently working in the Indian Premier League back for that tour, while Bavuma, who missed the Pakistan series with a hamstring injury, will also return.
“We are looking forward to getting our full strength team back again, so that we can start building, hopefully towards a strong squad that can go to the World Cup, and make the country proud.”
“We always earmarked the West Indies trip coming up now, to have our full squad together, getting used to each other and hopefully to start getting used to winning a couple of games as well.”