SA coach Mark Boucher insists Proteas are on the right track

18 April 2021 - 12:57
By mahlatse mphahlele AND Mahlatse Mphahlele
Proteas head coach Mark Boucher has struggled to deliver positive results consistently for the team.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix Proteas head coach Mark Boucher has struggled to deliver positive results consistently for the team.

SA’s coach Mark Boucher is not too worried about the public’s stinging criticism of the Proteas recent string of poor results but he takes responsibility for the below par performances.

On Friday‚ the Proteas lost the T20 series to Pakistan which was the eighth series defeat out of 11 since he took over in 2019 when the team handed out six Test and ODI caps and eight T20 caps.

Boucher’s tenure coincided with the retirements of seasoned campaigners Faf du Plessis‚ Hashim Amla‚ Vernon Philander and JP Duminy and it doesn’t look like Boucher and his think-tank are anywhere near a solid team with the T20 World Cup in October.

“I take a massive amount of responsibility. I don’t shy away from it and I have never shied away from something like that‚” he said.

“I am extremely hurt at the moment as is the rest of my management and coaching staff.

“We have put a lot of work and effort into this and it’s not time to panic yet.

“If I worried about public opinion and that type of stuff‚ I probably would have hanged myself a long time ago.

“I think we have stuck to our guns in what we believed is the right way to go about in the set-up and pressure is going to be there no matter what.

“At this level of international sport, if you can’t handle it then you need to get out of the kitchen.

“We understand that the public want to win but we are sticking to our guns‚ we are looking forward to getting our full-strength team again so that we can start building a strong squad that can go to the World Cup.”

Boucher added that the team is on the right path despite the ODI and T20 series losses to Pakistan at home.

“I think we are on the right path. We have lost a couple of series and there are reasons for that.

“I am not going to make excuses because we still have to try and win with whatever side we put on the park to represent the Proteas.

“It has been a lot tougher but I think there have been a lot of positives with opportunities being given and a couple of guys coming through with flying colours.”

During the series loss to Pakistan‚ the Proteas did not have captain Temba Bavuma‚ Quinton de Kock‚ Kagiso Rabada‚ Anrich Nortjé‚ Lungi Ngidi‚ David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen for some of the matches.

“It was a big to lose Temba and Rassie on top of the players who went to the IPL.

“Unfortunately injuries and the IPL do happen in sport and we can’t control that.

“I think the guys who came in‚ and there were a few‚ held their heads high.

“Though we lost as a team‚ I thought there were some fantastic individual performances that we can be proud of.”