Mark Boucher extremely proud of "young lad" Keegan Petersen's performance

Mark Boucher extremely proud of “young lad” Keegan Petersen’s performance

For Mark Boucher, the toughest thing about watching South Africa’s chase against India was that there was no way he could contribute himself on the field. 

“As a player, you feel like the buck can stop with you. As a coach, your hands are tied behind your back. You haven’t got the chance to go out there and change the state of the game,” he said afterwards. “From a nerves perspective, it was up there with one of my more nervous days.”

South Africa have previously chased 236 at this ground (and it remains their highest successful here) and Boucher was in that XI. But there’s a big difference between the two instances. The highest successful chase was a decade ago. Boucher spent that innings in the dugout while Graeme Smith, currently director of cricket, and Hashim Amla, who is now doing commentary, batted South Africa to a memorable win. This time, South Africa needed 24 fewer runs but did not have players of the experience of Smith and Amla in their squad, so Boucher was careful with how much he believed.

Boucher praises Petersen’s temperament and Elgar’s captaincy

“When you’re in the batting change-room, the runs always seem a mile away. When you’re in the fielding change-room, you always feel like there is never quite enough. So it was trying to find a bit of a balance,” he said. “We knew the conditions were going to be really tough.”

“He is in a good position to have a guy like Dean [Elgar] next to him, who really does back him and he is a tough nut. Batting at No. 3, you’ve got to be tough, you’ve got to know your game, you’ve got to be technically sound. It’s a very tough position to play in, in South Africa, in our conditions, batting at No. 3. The way he has come through in this series, I am lost for words. In a big series like this, against big players, to be man of the series is fully deserved.”
 

“We’ve got Dean who led from the front. We’ve got Temba as the vice-captain, who is the same sort of fighter with the same spirit. When you’ve got two leaders like that, the guys are going to follow,” Boucher said. “Both of them stood up with regards to their own games. If you’ve got the fighters as leaders and they are prepared to show it with bat or ball, it’s probably going to be the character of the team.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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