South Africa head coach Mark Boucher has a challenging task on his hands to bring his troops together ahead of the three-match ODI series against England, who are the current world champions and the number one team in the format . England find themselves sky-high on confidence after beating South Africa 3-0 in T20Is as the Proteas had no answers to their depth across facets. Mark Boucher acknowledged their will to win and the hard work they are putting in to be a formidable force.
England’s batting depth proved sufficient in all three T20 internationals as they successfully chased South Africa’s totals. The third match was very one-sided in particular as the Englishmen completed the chase of 192 with more than two overs and nine wickets to spare to take the number one ranking in T20Is. Dawid Malan, who holds the T20I number one ranking for batsmen shepherded two successful chases against a strong bowling attack of the hosts.
Mark Boucher admits that England are significantly ahead of most teams in world cricket while they are doing plenty of work behind the scenes too to become a force. Although, the former keeper-batsman acknowledged that South Africa beat Australia convincingly in ODIs this year; however, losing to England comprehensively in T20Is makes it difficult to gauge where they stand.
“I do think that England are a step ahead, and not only [of] us but the other teams in world cricket at the moment. We are trying and we want to win. We are doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes to be a good force in world cricket. We’ve lost to England. We beat Australia in the ODIs and we’ve played against England again‚ so it’s two very good teams and it’s difficult to determine where we are at the moment. It’s shown that we’ve got a lot of work to do with regards to catching them as they’re the best teams in the world,” Boucher said as quoted by Times Live.
We have to man up and face the fact that we lost 3-0: Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher further said that the players trained as well as they could; however, there was rustiness in them. The 43-year old added that South Africa has to deal with their 3-0 loss and remains confident that they have a determined group of players who want to learn and compete against the world’s best.
“There’s a bit of rustiness and we didn’t have the most ideal preparation. We did as well as we could with regards to our training. I’m not looking for excuses though. We have to man up and face the fact that we lost 3-0. We’ve got a determined group of guys who want to learn quickly and compete with the world’s best,” he added.
The first ODI takes place in Cape Town on the 4th of December while Paarl will stage the second next day before coming back to Cape Town for the final game four days later.