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Ken Borland

‘We will take a lot of confidence from beating one of the top sides’ – Boucher

Posted on February 17, 2022 by Ken

“We will take a lot of confidence from beating one of the top sides in the world with our first XI not in place,” Proteas coach Mark Boucher said after his team completed an astonishing 3-0 series whitewash of India with a thrilling four-run win at Newlands on Sunday.

Even without pace spearheads Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, and with ace spinner Tabraiz Shamsi sitting out the last game, South Africa dominated the ODI series in conditions that were more suited to the Indian team, following their memorable Test series triumph.

“There has been a great progression in the field, both on the field and off, in terms of the environment – it’s a happy changeroom and the results show that,” Boucher said.

“I believe we turned the corner a while ago, before that we gave lots of players opportunities and we are reaping the rewards now. When players are injured or sitting out, the guys are coming through.

“I like the look and balance of our batting, they did really well, we are getting hundreds and it is a powerful top six. We have a couple of all-rounders who have put in solid performances.

“In terms of our fast bowlers, Anrich and KG still have to come back, Marco Jansen has a lot of potential and Lungi Ngidi did a fantastic job leading from the front. And we have world-class spinners,” Boucher said.

One of the biggest positives from the series for Boucher was the way India, renowned both for playing spin and their own slow bowlers, were outplayed by both the Proteas batsmen and their spinners, Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and Aiden Markram, whose selection for the sixth bowler role paid off.

“We’ve put a lot of hard work into playing in subcontinental conditions and the heatwave in the Western Cape meant the pitches played a bit like that.

“We played spin really well in Sri Lanka and we have a good batch of spin bowlers now, with Aiden doing a good job too. So I’m not surprised we did so well.

“That’s the big positive for me – the way we played spin and the way we bowled it. From a spin perspective, we outplayed and outbowled India,” Boucher said.

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