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Ken Borland

Boucher seems to lack gene for fear of failure, frustrated that his Proteas team do not

Posted on April 18, 2022 by Ken

As a human being, Mark Boucher seems to lack the gene for a fear of failure which made him one of the most tenacious cricketers around, but now as a coach he has admitted to frustration that that is exactly the weakness his Proteas team showed as they crashed to a series loss to Bangladesh in humiliating fashion in the third and final ODI at Centurion on Wednesday evening.

Choosing to bat first, South Africa’s batsmen folded meekly to 154 all out in 37 overs. Bangladesh them showed them how to bat on the SuperSport Park pitch as they raced to victory in just 26-and-a-half overs with just one wicket down.

“We lacked intent, we went to sleep after a good start to our innings,” Boucher said after the loss. “We wanted to take the game forward, you do need to take some risks, but there was almost a fear of getting out.

“It was as if we were not batting to set a total, which Bangladesh showed should have been more than 300, but batting to not get out, and then we spiralled into a total collapse.

“We need to have belief in how we play, we’ve played spin very well in places like Sri Lanka but then we come back here and go back to old ways. We have to have faith to play the way we want to play.

“We wanted to be proactive, we have worked hard on shot-selection and the guys know they have the armoury. But it’s like a mental block. We need to put the fear of failure out of our minds, the fear of getting out,” Boucher said.

What is baffling, however, is that much the same team beat India 3-0 in January and they should have had the confidence of a billionaire on the front cover of Forbes magazine. Boucher said the vagaries of form had also played a role in the shock series defeat.

“Against India we had guys in great form and there were big partnerships. In this series we lost an aggressive player like Aiden Markram whose form is worrying, so new guys come into the team.

“In the back of their heads they probably want to get runs to prove that they belong here, and that brings in a bit of fear. Maybe they are too scared to play the way they should.

“So it comes down to a lack of form and belief,” Boucher said.

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