Proteas head coach Mark Boucher
- Proteas coach Mark Boucher has reacted to his side’s heavy loss against England at Newlands.
- Boucher acknowledges that his side is learning some “harsh lessons” at the moment.
- The former Proteas wicketkeeper has encouraged his players to keep the bigger picture in mind.
It has been a tough week for the Proteas, who were thrashed at Newlands on Tuesday night to be whitewashed 3-0 by England in their T20 series.
Even if the South Africans did enter the series as underdogs given that they had not played international cricket in eight months, expectations would have been higher than what was dished up on Tuesday night.
Defending 191, the Proteas bowling attack fell apart and the match was over in just 17.4 overs as Dawid Malan (99* off 47) and Jos Buttler (67* off 46) sent the likes of Lutho Sipamla (0/45 in 2.4) and Tabraiz Shamsi (0/57 in 4) to all parts of an empty Newlands.
With allrounders Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo ruled out just before the start of the series, the Proteas were not able to call up a specialist allrounder into their squad given the strict coronavirus protocols of their Cape Town bio-bubble and it meant that they entered all three matches without an obvious and capable sixth bowling option.
That would hurt them throughout, but speaking after Tuesday’s match, Boucher was trying to look for the positives without making excuses.
“We’ll keep learning. We are getting tested against a very good team and that’s how we want to get tested. If it’s going to expose a few weaknesses that we have got, then that’s a good thing I think,” he said.
“It was a bit of rustiness, but we’re not looking for excuses.
“We’ve got to man up and we have to face the facts that we lost 3-0.
“We’ve got a determined group of guys there who want to learn quickly and compete with the world’s best and that’s the positive I can take out of the dressing room at the moment.”
Boucher added that he was fully aware of the expectations of the South African public to see the Proteas return to winning ways.
“It’s difficult to apologise when you go out there and do your best when you come up against opposition that are superior to you,” he said.
“I do think that England are a step ahead of not only us, but quite a few teams in world cricket at the moment.
“We want to win and we will be putting in a lot of hard work behind the scenes because we understand that we need to get back to being a force in world cricket.
“Days like today are very tough because we haven’t won, but I think we will go back and try encourage the guys to trust the bigger picture of where we want to go and I do believe there is a buy-in in the dressing room with that.
“A couple of hard lessons are being learnt at the moment, but if we stick to our guns we certainly aren’t going to be here for long.”
Attention will now turn to the three-match ODI series between the sides, which gets underway at Newlands on Friday.