South Africa head coach Mark Boucher could not have asked for a better start than his team had against Sri Lanka in the ongoing Test series. South Africa won the first Test at the Centurion by 45 runs to take the lead in the two-match rubber. But despite the return of Kagiso Rabada for the second Test in Johannesburg, Mark Boucher confirms it does not make him a certain starter.
South Africa went ahead with three frontline pace bowlers alongside Wiaan Mulder, who is a medium pace bowler and Keshav Maharaj, the left-arm spinner. And after conceding 396 in the first innings, the Proteas flourished as a batting unit to pile the pressure on the injury-stricken tourists. Thus, South Africa might field the same pace attack with Lutho Sipamla, Lungi Ngidi, and Anrich Nortje as the frontline fast bowlers.
Mark Boucher admitted that even though he is Kagiso Rabada and want him to play but at the same time, manage his workload. Since he is returning from an injury, Boucher said they have to remain careful. The former Proteas’ keeper-batsman further stated that if the workloads are not managed with fast bowlers like Kagiso Rabada, they could get injured frequently. And that would be injustice both to themselves and him.
“Because his name is Kagiso Rabada, we would want to play him but we’ve got to manage his loads. He is coming back from injury so we will just monitor his progress. For a guy like KG, we want to play him all the time, but he has got to get his workloads up [or] there is a high risk of him getting injured. Then we would be doing an injustice, not just to himself but to ourselves,” Boucher said as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.
I am not a big fan of going into a Test match without a spinner: Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher also empathized with Sri Lanka, who were in a predicament due to several players of theirs getting injured during the first Test. The former South African cricketer underlined that since there hasn’t been plenty of matches of late, players have to think out of the box to prepare themselves and go above and beyond. Boucher added that South Africa would hardly go in any match without a spinner as he observed the challenges Sri Lanka faced.
“It’s very difficult in these times to prepare. We haven’t had a lot of cricket – games have been postponed or cancelled. We are having to think out of the box continuously to try and get our workloads up in order to bowl 20 overs a day. I am not a big fan of going into a Test match without a spinner. It’s very dangerous. As we saw with Sri Lanka in this game, if they didn’t have a spinner, they would have struggled even more. I doubt we will go in without Keshav,” he added.