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Ken Borland

Boucher has a plan to beat a top-class England ODI outfit

Posted on August 22, 2022 by Ken

Against a top-class England ODI outfit playing a very aggressive brand of cricket, Proteas coach Mark Boucher believes he has a plan to beat them and he wants to start creating a more settled environment with the next 50-over World Cup just 15 months away.

South Africa’s ODI form has been less convincing than the other two formats and they currently languish in 11th place in the World Cup Qualifying Super League. They are a better side than that, however, having won 50% of their completed ODIs in the last two years, including a memorable 3-0 whitewash of India in January that unfortunately did not count for Super League points.

England currently top that table and Boucher knows how tough their three-match series against the world champions will be when it starts on July 19 in Chester-le-Street.

“England are a well-drilled team,” Boucher said on Monday. “We all know how tough it is to play them in England and we expect them to play the same very aggressive brand.

“I’m confident we have the right players though. We’ve just had a little lack of form and continuity – we’ve lost players on three occasions to the IPL and twice it was for series-deciders against Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“We need to understand that the World Cup is looming, and we need continuity and players being available. I think our plans are good, and hopefully in this series we can settle on those and get our combinations going,” Boucher said.

While multi-format players like Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj are in for a long tour – the last match is the third Test ending on September 12 – there are others who only have a short time to make an impression.

Reeza Hendricks and Janneman Malan have both lost their places in South Africa’s T20 squad and the absence of injured captain Temba Bavuma has opened up space in the top-order for them to shine.

Markram is another who can benefit from Bavuma’s absence, and the Proteas will use two warm-up matches against the England Lions on Tuesday and Thursday to work out their batting line-up.

“Temba is a massive loss, both as a player and captain, what he brings to the team is immense,” Boucher said. “But we do have back-up, guys who can come in and not be out-of-place.

“Aiden being successful is good for the Proteas set-up. He didn’t play in India but he had a long season before that. He’s had time to reflect now and he has worked on parts of his game.

“We have 17 players and we will try as much as we can to give everyone a go, but there are just two warm-up games so it is quite difficult. We’ll try to give all the batsmen a bat and all the bowlers a bowl.

“Hopefully everyone gets the chance to put their case forward. In the second game we’ll play the XI which I’d like to think will be close to what we’ll pick for the first ODI,” Boucher said.

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