• Harris helping Maharaj with confidence

    New head coach Mark Boucher praised former Test spinner Paul Harris’ mentoring of fellow left-armer Keshav Maharaj, as the Proteas prepared for next week’s series opener against England at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

    Harris’ mentorship role with Maharaj was in place before the Proteas coaching staff underwent a raft of changes recently. Boucher was hired alongside batting consultant Jacques Kallis, bowling coach Charl Langeveldt and others. Former captain Graeme Smith, meanwhile, has been interim appointed director of cricket

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    ‘It’s a nice set up, there’s plenty of experience, but I think nowadays it’s not only about the experience, it’s about the different angles that you can look at the game from,’ said Boucher.

    ‘Having a guy like Jacques, he’s our most capped Test player and probably the greatest cricketer that’s ever lived, that’s invaluable experience. Even Paul working with Keshav, who he’s mentored for a while, to get Keshav’s confidence back.

    ‘For me it’s about trying to add value where I can. Hopefully I can get into a situation where I can earn the players’ trust over the next short while and they’ll have that confidence to come and chat to me.

    At the moment they might have the confidence to chat to other people about certain issues, so I’d be stupid to be that guy who comes and tries to change everything so quickly.’

    Maharaj is the lone specialist spinner in the Proteas’ 17-man squad for the first half of the four-Test series.

    Photo: Getty Images

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