• Death bowling woes

    What former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher had to say on SuperSport about the fourth ODI defeat in Melbourne.

    South Africa lost the game in the last 10 overs at the MCG. We were always 50 runs short, but the bowlers at the death should have taken example from how Australia bowled at the death. Leg-side deliveries and full tosses just didn’t help. When it went badly it went really badly.

    The selection of the team is going to be a tough one going forward. I’d still like to see us keep our options open for the different conditions we will play in. But Kyle Abbott has pretty much bowled himself into a position in the team. When JP Duminy comes back from injury, the dynamic of the XI will change. It has been a tough tour, with a lot of questions asked and some answered.

    AB de Villiers and David Miller, these are our two gun players and we need to bat around them. We have the players to score at the death, but the confidence is lacking. We are looking for someone to come in and face 25 balls and maybe get a 40 or face 15 balls and get us a 30, which ultimately will push the momentum up.It’s amazing how when you’re given the opportunity to go at everything, you commit 100 percent to go hard at everything. But Miller is probably sometimes in a situation where he knows it is a bit early to go hard, but the field is up and he just wants to try and bump a four over the top to put the pressure back on the opposition.
    But there is always that fear of getting out, which leads to not committing to going hard 100 percent and, as we saw in the fourth ODI in Melbourne, that’s where he gets out. I can guarantee you, had that shot been played after the 45th over, rather than in the 37th, he would have put a six 10 rows into the stands. If he has five overs to bat, and been given a licence to hit, Miller could turn 40s into centuries. It was just a matter of decision-making by the batsmen.
    If they had played the same way they had been playing, even though the field was up, until the 45th over, we probably would have had 250 or 260 score and then pushed beyond 300. So the correct decision-making wasn’t quite there. That comes from a bit of inexperience and we also have to look at the confidence of lower-order. In big games like these games against Australia, the guys at the crease need to take responsibility and stay in and score the majority of the runs – and bat themselves into a position where they can actually have a full go at the end of the innings.
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    Mark Boucher