Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
1 minute read
6 May 2021
12:45 pm

Boucher and Proteas under the microscope – Graeme Smith

Ken Borland

South Africa's Test and T20 record since the former national wicket-keeper took charge of the Proteas isn't good.

Head coach Mark Boucher will be more under the spotlight in the coming months. Picture: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images

The last season was a disrupted one due to Covid-19, but in the coming year the Proteas management are going to be much more answerable for results, starting with the tour to the West Indies next month, CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith said on Thursday.

Head coach Mark Boucher has been coming under fire for the Proteas record of losing five of their eight Tests and winning just four of their 16 T20 internationals since he was appointed in December 2019. South Africa’s ODI record in that time is decent, however, with five victories against three losses.

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Boucher made no secret of the fact that the Test team needed a lot of work when he took over, with the retirements of half-a-dozen world-class performers in recent years, and he has often had to field weakened teams in white-ball cricket.

“We’re heading into a crucial period for both players and management. Previously we were just trying to get as much cricket played as possible and we used more than 30 players. We have lost a number of key players and then the cancellation of domestic four-day cricket in December didn’t help the team either. So it was a bit of an exploratory period,” Smith said.

“Mark Boucher was able to identify players going forward and I think this period now is crucial in terms of results. We need to get our best team playing together, we have two Tests and five T20s from the beginning of June in the West Indies and then the white-ball squad goes directly to Ireland.

“There’s a small break in August and then we have T20 series in Sri Lanka and India and then the T20 World Cup.”