Proteas coach Mark Boucher has explained Kyle Verreynne’s exclusion from the T20I team, saying it was agreed beforehand that Wihan Lubbe would get a chance in the top order.
After producing a fine half-century in last week’s final ODI against Pakistan, Verreynne’s omission from the T20I team in the three games that followed raised a few eyebrows from Proteas fans.
The Proteas head into the fourth and final clash on Friday 2-1 down in the series, requiring nothing but a victory in Centurion.
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Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Boucher reflected on the Verreynne situation, emphasising that the wicketkeeper has all the potential to become a top-class player in all formats of the game.
‘I want to win games of cricket, that’s the focus for me, but I am one of four selectors and we choose from a squad that was selected for us. Kyle was chosen by them as the backup wicketkeeper to Heinrich Klaasen when we spent two days discussing who was the backup for whom. Wihan Lubbe was chosen as top-three backup. I understand Kyle was very good in the last ODI, but T20 cricket is a bit different.
‘Directly after the franchise T20 competition, the computers were brought out and we considered the aggressive brand we want to play, and the collective felt that Lubbe should get an opportunity in the top order.
‘Kyle is growing and we believe he can still add to a couple of parts of his game and become a world-class performer in all three formats,’ Boucher said.
Lubbe made scores of four and 12 in the first two T20Is before being replaced by Rassie van der Dussen, who returned from injury, for Wednesday’s clash.
Boucher further explained his charges created pressure for themselves when they had to defend Wednesday’s target of 204. Pakistan captain Babar Azam struck a magnificent century that helped the visitors to a relatively easy nine-wicket win in the end.
Asked about what went wrong, Boucher said the nature of a T20 battle can change quite quickly, especially after the impressive performance the Proteas delivered in the second T20I earlier this week.
‘We went from an absolute high three days ago to last night. I think the realisation is that it’s T20 cricket and when things go bad they can go really bad and it was. I’m not making any excuses. I don’t know if we had got 230 if we would have won that game. We looked completely rattled when we had ball in hand and were put under pressure.’