Proteas coach Mark Boucher says scars from past sub-continent tours played a big mental role in the batting collapses experienced in the two Tests against Pakistan.
The Proteas batting unit suffered another big collapse on Monday as Pakistan claimed victory in Rawalpindi by 95 runs.
That despite having a sniff of chasing down the target of 370, thanks to Aiden Markram’s impressive century.
As was the case in Karachi and the first innings, the South Africans middle and lower offered little resistance, slumping from 241-3 to 274 all out.
‘Guys are getting out in the same sort of ways every time,’ Boucher told reporters post-match.
‘We are continuously working on technical things that we can improve on. Sometimes you’re going wake up and not everything feels great from a mental perspective, that’s where you need your technical side to pull you through.
‘I think there are a lot of scars from past tours to the sub-continent. I have seen the guys, who have had a couple of technical issues in the past like Aiden, come through it and spend a bit of time at the crease. I’d say it is more a mental thing than anything else.’
Following Australia’s cancellation of their tour to South Africa, it means the Proteas could be out of action in the Test format until the end of the year.
Improving those mental and technical battles will continue to be the main job for the batsmen to apply themselves whenever the Proteas play a Test again, added Boucher.
‘There are ways to correct it. We keep talking about the mental side of batting, the mental application. The big moments when we really need to drive home an advantage, we seem to find ways to get out. In the first innings Temba [Bavuma] and Wiaan [Mulder] really looked like it was getting easier to build a partnership, then we get a run-out.
‘It’s just finding ways to get out in really important moments in the game. From a batting perspective it really cost us,’ he said.