Boucher has a pleas­ant selec­tion headache

Pretoria News - - SPORT - STUART HESS [email protected]

AUS­TRALIA would have de­parted South Africa yes­ter­day in­cred­u­lous about just who had beaten them 3-0 in the one-day in­ter­na­tional se­ries.

It’s not the fact that it was the Proteas who won, rather the play­ers wear­ing the SA out­fit. If you would have told the Aus­tralian play­ers a year ago that Kyle Ver­reynne, Jan­ne­man Malan, Hein­rich Klaasen and An­rich Nortje would sweep them in a se­ries, many of them would have scrunched up their faces and gone: “Huh!”

And it’s Ver­reynne, Klaasen, Nortje and Malan – the lat­ter added to the squad on Satur­day as cover for

Temba Bavuma – who will be part of a 16-player party headed to In­dia for three ODIs look­ing to con­tinue to build on the con­fi­dence gained from thump­ing Aus­tralia at the end of a home in­ter­na­tional sum­mer, that has had more downs than ups for SA cricket.

“What’s im­pressed me is that the guys have re­sponded to the mes­sages that we have been send­ing out from a bat­ting and a bowl­ing per­spec­tive,” said Proteas coach Mark Boucher “They were pre­pared to change their mind­sets a bit and (we) also (had) a lot of dif­fer­ent play­ers, step­ping up.”

Since the ad­min­is­tra­tive changes at Cricket SA late last year, Boucher and in­terim di­rec­tor of cricket, Graeme Smith, have stressed the im­por­tance of play­ers tak­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties be­ing given to them and in that re­spect, Klaasen – who strug­gled last year when try­ing to crack a spot in the World Cup squad, Malan, Nortje and Ver­reynne have cer­tainly utilised the op­por­tu­ni­ties granted to them.

Boucher has been left with a pleas­ant selec­tion headache for the In­dian se­ries.

SOUTH AFRICA: Quin­ton de Kock (capt), Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Kyle Ver­reynne, Hein­rich Klaasen, David Miller, Jon-Jon Smuts, Andile Phehluk­wayo, Lundi Ngidi, Lutho Si­pamla, Beu­ran Hen­dricks, An­rich Nortje, Ge­orge Linde, Ke­shav Ma­haraj.

MARK BOUCHER says the Proteas will fol­low the lead of Eng­land’s play­ers, and forego hand­shakes over con­cerns about the coro­n­avirus in In­dia. | Back­pagePix

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