Boucher on T20 series defeat, selections and what lies ahead
“My wish is that we get back to winning again and I do believe we will do that when we get our full-strength squad back."
Head coach Mark Boucher will be more under the spotlight in the coming months. Picture: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images
Each and every Proteas supporter will have their own view on how the team is performing and where it is heading, and many are not shy to share that on social media, but national coach Mark Boucher said after the T20 series loss to Pakistan that public opinion is not something he listens to.
“I would have probably hanged myself long ago if I was worried about public opinion,” Boucher said after South Africa lost the last T20 off the penultimate ball to lose the series 3-1 to Pakistan on Friday evening.
“We will stick to our guns, the players themselves came up with the way we want to play. But I take a massive amount of responsibility for our defeats, I won’t shy away from that. If you can’t handle the pressure then you should get out of the kitchen, but I am looking forward to getting the first-choice squad back.
“I am extremely hurt by this series loss but I am not going to panic because I understand there have been trying circumstances. The injuries to Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen were big losses on top of the five players going to the IPL. But we were dealt those cards and I have to try and win with those. It’s been very frustrating to not win more series and I understand how the public feels.”
While the series reflected positively on the abilities of Aiden Markram, Janneman Malan, Lizaad Williams and George Linde to step up, there is still the nagging doubt that South Africa’s fringe players have the necessary skills for the Proteas to return to being powerhouses of international cricket. Boucher said the next couple of months will be spent on up-skilling players.
“I’ll have a week or so break and then I’ll get back into it,” Boucher said. “This break is not really going to be an off-season, it’s an opportunity to up-skill ourselves and build up the fitness levels so we have the intensity and energy required to match the best in the world.
“There will be a lot of skill work in this short period of time and hopefully our efforts will start showing in the West Indies in June.
“My wish is that we get back to winning again and I do believe we will do that when we get our full-strength squad back. Quite a few of these players can hold their heads high, but we can see the next group of players is quite rough around the edges – they are good in patches, but in international cricket you can’t afford that, you need to be polished all round.”