New Proteas head coach Mark Boucher is taking the difficult start to his tenure in his stride after a testing summer of cricket against England and Australia.
The Proteas were hammered 3-1 in the Test series against Joe Root’s outfit before succumbing to consecutive T2oI series defeats by Australia, following England’s example in the shortest format of the game with a 2-1 victory.
A new-look ODI team, however, salvaged some pride and much-needed confidence for the Proteas as they beat the Australians 3-0 in the ODI series.
‘It has been a tough start to the job, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy going in from the moment this journey began,’ admitted Boucher.
‘Yes, there have been some good performances in patches, but we are honest enough with ourselves and each other to know that there is a lot more work that needs to be put in by everybody involved before we can call ourselves a complete outfit.’
A fairly inexperienced and young group of players showed their worth against a quite strong Australian outfit that featured the likes of David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins.
Boucher, on the other hand, gave Kyle Verreynne, Janneman Malan and Daryn Dupavillon debuts in that series with all three of them proving their ability to execute at international level.
Similarly, Heinrich Klaasen returned to the ODI team and delivered a man-of-the-series showing with a ton and two half-centuries in the three encounters.
‘What impressed me in the Australia series was the way the guys responded to what we were telling them; there was a change in mindset. A lot of players stepped up, they all took their opportunities, which gives me a selection headache, but it’s a good place to be,’ Boucher said.
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