SL vs SA 2021 – Mark Boucher: The team realized that we are not a finished product


Coach attributes self-awareness to South Africa’s seven-game winning streak in T20I

Just as they are on a roll, they will take a break. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

South Africa completed a three-game winning streak in the T20I series after beating West Indies, Ireland and now Sri Lanka on their winter tours. Say what you like about whether South Africa has always done its best or the state of the opposition – and remember the West Indies were full – but at a time when there were few good things to say about the performance of the South African men’s team, it is among the best there is. They have tied a record of seven straight wins in T20I and are in as good shape as they could have hoped to be, according to coach Mark Boucher.

“This team has realized that we are definitely not the finished product, so there is a lot that we are talking about,” said Boucher. “We had a good discussion about the lessons we’ve learned and where we want to go as a team. We tied the record for most T20 wins by a South African team. It was one records that we were playing for. We understand that before a World Cup every game is as important as the next and it becomes a habit. It’s part of the growth of the team. “

Their opportunity to break that record and add an eighth victory will come on October 23, when they face Australia in the opener of the T20 World Cup. By then, half the squad will return home to South Africa to compete in a T20 knockout national cup and prepare for the tournament while the other half will head to the IPL.

“We talked to the guys who go to IPL. They have to stay disciplined enough and realize that we want to get to the top at the right time as a unit, ”said Boucher. “They will gather information about playing in these conditions that will really set them up for a big tournament and if they do well, have a good time in the nets and get used to the facilities it will keep us going. great experience as long as the guys take care of themselves and peak at the right time. “

Boucher’s main concern will be injuries, especially for players like David Miller, who returned from a hamstring injury for the Sri Lanka T20Is to pick up a quad after the first game. Miller is among those going to IPL. The same goes for all of South Africa’s frontline rapids – Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi (who missed the Sri Lanka tour for personal reasons) and Anrich Nortje – as well as their star hitter Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram in good shape. The latter two in particular, Boucher wants to be fit and shoot in a batting team that has done well despite running a short throughout the Sri Lanka series.

De Kock was South Africa’s top scorer and continues to benefit from being released from the captain position. “Quinny went through a rough time after (the) Pakistan (tour in February) but since joining he has been fantastic in the team environment. You can’t keep a player like that for too long,” said Boucher. . . “He’s been in a very happy space. He’s a big name for the World Cup so the fact that he’s in the form he is is good.”

And Markram, who was signed as a replacement player for Dawid Malan at Punjab Kings, has not only become flexible enough to hit anywhere in the first order, but as a versatile option under spinner-friendly conditions. He finished as the second main pitcher in the series. “Aiden has grown a lot in his game and now has different options,” said Boucher.

Returning captain Temba Bavuma, who is recovering from a broken thumb, will add another top-notch player to the mix for the T20 World Cup. Boucher is delighted that he has an abundance problem, even when it comes to leadership. He got nothing but praise for substitute skipper Keshav Maharaj, who made his debut in the series format, took a wicket with his first ball and led South Africa to a clean sweep.

“With Keshav it’s not his first roadshow. He’s been there, especially in conditions like this. He has a good feel for the game,” said Boucher. “The communication, trust and trust he has in the spinners, especially the trust he has shown in Aiden, Aiden has nurtured himself and produced the goods. The way he has treated his spinners and them players was excellent. He has great leadership that holds us up in good stead. “

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s correspondent in South Africa

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