Mark Boucher upbeat of Proteas' chances in T20 World Cup, to keep an eye on IPL in UAE

Mayank Kumar

Mayank Kumar

Author| Jul 4, 1:22 PM

Image: Twitter
Image: Twitter

Fresh from a series win in a five-match series against West Indies, South Africa coach Mark Boucher is upbeat about Proteas chances in the ICC World T20 scheduled to be played in the UAE and Oman. 

He said the conditions are likely to be similar to what they have played in against the Windies and run-scoring will be a tough ask on pitches.

"We are probably going to be playing in conditions like this in the UAE. The wickets after the IPL are going to be a bit dry. It's not the same as we're used to back in South Africa where you can go out and bash your way to 180 to 200 runs. You've got to be skillful here; you've got to be smart," Boucher said.

Boucher highlighted the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League scheduled just prior to the T20 World Cup and said that worn pitches in the tournaments will make the conditions even more extreme come the global tournament.

He said that the South Africa team management will have their eyes glued to the developments in the IPL to formulate a blueprint for the big ICC event. He also made no reservations about the fact the spinners will have a massive role to play in the outcome of the event.

"If anything, it's going to go even further into subcontinent conditions, on the extreme side. They are playing the IPL there, there's not a lot of grounds and those wickets are going to be worn so scores will probably go even further down," he said. "It's going to be tough to bat on especially at the back end, like we saw here. We will have an idea of what scores are going to be by watching the IPL and then taking a look and assess how the wickets are playing during the beginning part of the World Cup. I suspect spinners will play a massive role,” Boucher said.

South Africa clinched the five-match series 3-2 against an all-strength Windies side in their home conditions but lack of form and consistency by some batsmen have not lost relevance in Boucher’s views. However, he chose to cherish a series win over a strong team despite not off the members performing at par with their potential. 

He expressed hope that they will regain form in upcoming matches leading up to the marquee event which could provide the Proteas with much-needed impetus lower down the order which could be very crucial on slower and lower surfaces in the UAE.

"There are a couple of guys out of form but if you are winning series against a strong team with a couple of guys out of form, you must be doing something right. We need to get some guys in form. Maybe there is an opportunity for us to get those guys in form so we can finish off innings better,” Boucher said.

"If we can get all the guys firing on all cylinders, we've got an idea of what could be our strongest line-up and once that happens, then you end up finding an extra 15-20 runs which, in these conditions it becomes a very difficult total to face, especially when it's so dry," he said.

Boucher though showered praise on the new skipper Temba Bavuma for utilising all the resources at his disposal to the fullest and bowlers for putting their hands up by executing plans.

"We've got to get guys playing a lot smarter and we saw that in our bowling. Our bowling throughout the whole series was fantastic and Temba has had a fantastic series managing the bowlers apart from one or two gambles that didn't pay off,” Boucher asserted.

South Africa have had a successful tour of the West Indies where they won the Test series 2-0 and followed it up with another series win in T20Is. Boucher would hope the twin series win in the Caribbean islands will start off a new journey for the Proteas who have not had great success over the last few years.

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