Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
15 Jan 2021
8:17 am

Proteas batsmen are ‘confident’, says Boucher, but they must adapt to Pakistan conditions

Ken Borland

Pace bowlers are also likely to play a much bigger role than elsewhere on the subcontinent and Boucher says he is pleased to have a bowling coach like Charl Langeveldt who has such a sound knowledge of reverse-swing.

Proteas head coach Mark Boucher has a bigger limited overs schedule to prepare for when Pakistan visit South Africa for ODIs and T20 matches in April. Picture: Getty Images

Proteas coach Mark Boucher said on Thursday that, in the short-term, he looked forward to his batsmen capitalising in Pakistan on the confidence boost the series win over Sri Lanka had given them.

The Proteas were set to depart for their two-Test series in Pakistan on Friday and Boucher said it had historically been a good place for batting, something which a rebuilding South African batting line-up would welcome.

“They’ll take a bit of confidence from the Sri Lanka series where most of the batsmen had some good time in the middle,” Boucher said.

“Historically the pitches in Pakistan have been pretty flat and Mickey Arthur (the previous Pakistan coach) said they were pretty good for batting. But you score in different areas over there and a lot of adjusting needs to be done, especially against reverse-swing, which a lot of our guys haven’t seen before.

“Pakistan have a very good bowling line-up, but the message to our batsmen is that if you apply yourself and spend a long time at the crease, then there are a lot of runs to be had.

“We are well aware of the technical adjustments that are needed over there and it’s not like India or Sri Lanka. It will be very foreign, but we expect nice and flat pitches, good cricket wickets.”

Pace bowlers were likely to play a much bigger role than elsewhere on the subcontinent and Boucher said he was pleased to have a bowling coach like Charl Langeveldt who had such a sound knowledge of reverse-swing.

“The pitches in Pakistan don’t turn a lot and they are more conducive to fast bowling,” he said.

“We expect them to go with pace and reverse-swing because it’s very flat. So there’s certainly a need for us to look at reverse as well. But you need to be able to get the ball to reverse first and in these times of Covid you have to be very careful with the ball, but there are always legal ways to scuff up one side.

“A lot of our bowlers have not had to deal with reverse-swing before and the guys sometimes can’t control the ball if they’re not used to it, so they need to adapt.

“Kagiso Rabada uses reverse really well, so he can pass on the right lines and lengths, and fortunately Langers (Langeveldt) was a master of reverse, so I’m very comfortable we’ll get it right.”

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