Mark Boucher says the Proteas can’t hide from the fact that their batting has become a problem.
South Africa slumped to a nine-wicket loss to England at The Oval on Monday – and a 2-1 Test series defeat – after being bowled out for 118 and 169.
The Proteas managed just one individual fifty in the three matches – opener Sarel Erwee’s 73 at Lord’s.
“I’m disappointed, it was a missed opportunity,” said Boucher, who will leave his role as Proteas head coach after the T20 World Cup in Australia.
“We played some good cricket and we never put the runs on the board, so we never knew how we could test England in a way.
“We believed we had the bowlers to take 20 wickets but, bottom line, you’ve got to score the runs and we never got them on board.
“Our guys didn’t go out and play maverick cricket, we tried really hard, but they got tested and fell short with their batting technically and some good bowling. We knew England had a good bowling attack, unfortunately, we couldn’t stand up to it.”
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Boucher agreed with captain Dean Elgar’s assessment that the Proteas batting lineup lacked experience.
“These batters that are here have constantly been the best batters in our country, if you look at our last top-seven batters that played in England, there was 470-odd Test matches,” he said. “With our 10 who batted in the top seven in this series, I think it’s about 170. So there’s a big difference.
“The only way to get experience is to go out there and play. We backed a couple of batters to play in quite a few Test matches in conditions when the ball went around a bit, and they haven’t come off, which has been an issue for us.
“We were forced into a position in the last game where we had to give opportunities to other guys. We can’t just keep going with the same guys and they keep failing.
“You can see guys really trying hard, but you can see the guys are sinking into a hole; the harder they try, the deeper they fall in.
“The batting was an issue, our top average was 27, which is not good enough. We can’t hide away from it and have to put it right.”