After embarrassment, Boucher hopes to have Bavuma back for Proteas

South Africa coach Mark Boucher at the post-match press conference for the first T20 International against Australia at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday, February 21.
South Africa coach Mark Boucher at the post-match press conference for the first T20 International against Australia at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday, February 21.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Proteas team director Mark Boucher said they'd love to have Temba Bavuma back as soon as they can ahead of Sunday’s second T20 against Australia in Port Elizabeth.

Bavuma’s injury-induced absence is just one of Boucher’s worries. There’s the need to recover from Friday’s embarrassing, record-breaking 107-run put-down at the hands of Aaron Finch’s Australians at the Wanderers. There’s also the 20 percent of their match fees the South Africans have been docked for their slow over rate on Friday.

South Africa have many things to fix, one of them being their batting that misfired terribly in front of a baying and expectant crowd.

“Temba’s in great form and injuries are something you can’t control and we had to move the order around a bit tonight. We feel we have the players to make an impact up front. Hopefully, we can get Temba back on the park as soon as possible to hopefully ride his form,” Boucher said.

The bowling, though, is the biggest problem. Nothing is working and no solutions have been forthcoming.

In the past three games, they’ve been taken for 204, 226 and 196 in 20 overs each. Whether they bowl first or second, they’re being taken apart, with Boucher admitting they’re struggling to find a resolution. On Friday, they started badly and Australia carried the momentum through the game.

“It’s not something we can change overnight. We worked very hard in the two days that we had here to train,” Boucher said.

“We worked on this like yorkers, where we’ve been tested and we’ve come up short. Our lines and lengths were really bad. We gave them 10 cut balls early, which is 40 runs without the batsmen having to make a play.

“When I’m talking about the bowling, I’m looking at it from a group and not an individual perspective. In the first six overs, we went for 70 runs and we only bowled one yorker that didn’t go for a run. Our options weren’t there and we dropped a few catches.

“It wasn’t a good night from a bowling and fielding perspective and that carried over into the batting. You have to take the emotion out of it and put a finger on what went wrong. We started badly and we had to play catch-up for the entire time.”

Boucher said Australia have a very good team, but they’ve also got the responsibility of trusting what they do and getting themselves back on the rails.

“We have to trust the system that we have. We’re working very hard off the field and we understand the areas we need to improve in. This performance wasn’t a good one at all. We were way below par and it showed in the result,” Boucher said.

“We have to get back on the horse and understand we were up against a very good team. We must understand that if we play 40 percent cricket, we’re going to get badly beaten like we were in this game.”


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