New Delhi, Oct 12: South Africa head coach Mark Boucher was left surprised over India bowling with far more aggression than the visitors in the recently-concluded ODI series which they lost 2-1.
At the same time, Boucher felt the conditions in Australia will help South Africa’s fast bowlers in being aggressive during the T20 World Cup to be held later in the month in Australia.
“Keeping the guys fresh mentally and physically is going to be vital. Then we’ll get the best results. Australia will suit our fast bowlers a lot better. We have got some good pace, some good bounce in our attack, so we need to keep the aggression there. I think in this last one-day game we played there wasn’t enough aggression.”
“Surprisingly India’s bowling attack in the ODIs bowled with far more aggression than what we did. We did chat about it and the way Anrich Nortje bowled (during the match) was a positive sign for me, especially going into the conditions where that will be quite effective,” said Boucher in the post-match press conference.
In Tuesday’s ODI series decider in New Delhi, South Africa were unable to come out of a spin trip led by Kuldeep Yadav’s 4/18, with Shahbaz Ahmed (2/32) and Washington Sundar (2/15) playing their part well. Along with Mohammed Siraj’s 2/17, India skittled out South Africa for just 99, which the hosts chased down with seven wickets in hand to take the series 2-1.
Boucher admitted that the loss to end their tour of India was disappointing, but South Africa have now the T20 World Cup in their sights, with keeping players fresh a challenge for him.
“I think we have taken some lessons and we have had good chats behind closed doors to speak about things that we can get better at. That will stand us in good stead going forward to Australia where the conditions are completely different. It’s disappointing to lose but we have a massive competition in front of us and that is what we are gearing up for.
“For the T20 stuff, keeping the guys fresh. We have come off a long tour of England straight into India, a couple of guys have been playing in the Caribbean league (CPL) as well. Keeping the guys mentally and physically fresh is going to be vital for the management and myself to monitor.”
One of the biggest concerns for South Africa ahead of the showpiece event has been the form of regular skipper Temba Bavuma, who missed out on the last two ODIs due to illness. On his return to international cricket, Bavuma has made just 11 runs in four outings on the tour of India, a major concern which Boucher duly acknowledged with the T20 World Cup on the horizon.
“Temba will want to try and get some sort of form before the World Cup. We do still have two warm-up games and the conditions will suit his style of batting. We’ll try to get him back up and running again and get him into the nets and hopefully give him a knock or two before the World Cup starts and see where he is at. He is the captain and we treat him like that.
“The conditions will suit (Bavuma’s) style of batting a bit more in Australia. We’ll try and get him back up and running again, get him into the nets to get him used to conditions and hopefully give him a knock or two before the start of the World Cup to see where he is at.”