Cape Town: South Africa coach and former wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has indicated he will not reveal all his team’s strategies during the upcoming white-ball series against India, saying while it was a “massive tour”, he would not show the team’s full hand given the T20 World Cup in Australia is round the corner.
The teams will play the first of their three T20Is in Thiruvananthapuram on September 28, with the ODIs commencing in Lucknow on October 6. The Proteas are scheduled to depart for India later on Friday.
Ahead of the tour, Boucher, who will quit as South Africa coach after the T20 World Cup, said, “It’s a massive tour for us, the tour before the big event, which is the (T20) World Cup.
“We hope to see a couple of options and give opportunities to players, albeit in Indian conditions. We know we will have to play a different brand in Australia, but I know we’ve got the players to push for a great outcome,” the former Proteas wicketkeeper-batter was quoted as saying by IOL.co.za.
“Don’t expect us to go at them (India) with our full-frontal team. We’ll try and get everyone involved and ready in India, there are three T20s and three ODIs to get the guys in form and fit. I want to look at combinations, keep them in touch in terms of form and try to get the confidence going,” said Boucher.
Boucher will be missing the charismatic Rassie van der Dussen, who has been pivotal to the Proteas’ success at home and on international assignments. Following Boucher taking charge of the side, South Africa lost six successive T20I series. But the squad has made a complete turnaround winning five of their last seven series in the shortest format, with just one loss — versus Australia at home — and an away drawn series in India (2-2).
With the top-order batter ruled out from the India series and the T20 World Cup in Australia next month due to a hand injury, sustained during the second Test against England, captain Temba Bavuma will have to shoulder a lot of the responsibility.
“It’s a massive blow not having Rassie van der Dussen and his whole aura around the team,” Boucher said. “But we are fortunate to have lots of guys pushing for selection; the competition for places is massive. And we can compete in any conditions. The nice thing about being together for a long time is that we have continuity, but also some exciting new talent that doesn’t have the scars of the past.
Tristan Stubbs has given Boucher lots of options with his explosive batting approach in the middle-order. He was recently picked up for 9.2 million rand at the inaugural SA20 League auction.
“A lot of teams don’t know about a guy like Tristan Stubbs and that makes him dangerous. He’s had a little bit of a go in international cricket, we didn’t rush him into any selection, and when he got to England on a big stage against a very good England team, he showed what he can do. He is an exciting prospect that not many teams know of, which is great.
“We’ve been the most successful T20 side over the last 25-30 games and we have a lot of special players. I have full confidence that we have lots of ammunition, now it’s about getting the guys to go out and play and be world-beaters,” added Boucher.