Mark Boucher expressed his joy at Aiden Markram’s recall to the Proteas squad for the remaining two ODI’s against Sri Lanka, but the former Proteas star admitted that his form will be missed in the Titans’ One-Day Cup fixture on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old has been sensational over recent weeks, featuring in the three matches during the domestic 50-over competition. He smashed two centuries and an outrageous 43-ball 85 – at an average of 131 – to help shoot his team to the top of the log.
His return to the Proteas’ ODI squad has left Boucher with a huge void to fill against the Cape Cobras at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.
‘I expected to lose him, to be honest,’ the Titans coach shared. ‘Having watched him over the last few games, he’s been great. I think he’s just proved to everyone that he’s one step ahead of the rest. He’s in his rightful place now and we’ll have to fill the gap.
‘Losing players to South Africa is what pleases us, so good luck to him.’
The Titans found their form in the competition after a slow start, and are currently first in the race to the play-offs. They sit at the top of the table with 18 points from six games (equal on points with the Warriors), with a game in hand over their nearest rivals.
‘There are quite a few sides in the mix now and it’s getting congested at the top,’ Boucher added. ‘Thankfully, we have a game in hand, so that gives us one game of breathing space.
‘Our intention from the start was to try and end up at the top, and we’re in a good position at the moment, so hopefully we can now go on and cement that position. We have played some good cricket, but we’ve been really bad in certain areas as well.
‘I think we’ve had to rely on a lot of individual performances to pull us through games, which is something that we’ve spoken about and we need to see some more combined team efforts. If we can do that, then we can really start dominating.’
Heinrich Klaasen (capt)
Theunis de Bruyn
Tony de Zorzi
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images