Boucher exclusive: SA one of five sides who can win WC
Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher is more than confident that the Proteas can break their World Cup hoodoo next year, providing they continue to play well when pressure is at a maximum.
Boucher, who these days has most of his attention focused on the plight of the rhinos, told Cricket365 in an exclusive interview that the team is making all the right moves in the build-up to the global event.
“The most important thing to me is that we are playing big or pressure moments very well at the moment,” said Boucher. “It is a good sign and I hope they can continue building on that.”
In what should be approached as a dress rehearsal for February’s festivities, the Proteas head to Australia and New Zealand at the end of this month. One of the goals for this short-format tour, during which they will only play ODIs and T20 Internationals, will be to ensure that the players get as much exposure to the conditions as they can.
Boucher continued: “The whole build-up to the World Cup is looking strong, but ultimately ahead of the World Cup we must not put too much pressure on the guys.
“There are no favourites at the World Cup as far as I’m concerned. There are probably five or six sides that can actually win it.
“You need a bit of luck to go your way, you need big players in good form. So if we have our big players in good form and we have a bit of luck, there is no reason why we can’t win it.”
Reflecting on the team’s recent triumph in a triangular series involving Australia and Zimbabwe, and prior to that in Sri Lanka, Boucher noted that the team’s planning has been spot-on and is equally impressed with the way the players have been managed through the season.
He said: “The team has been fantastic. They way they have been playing, as was the case in Sri-Lanka where conditions are difficult and then to come back here before going to Zimbabwe, it would have been tough for them to keep the passion and the intensity levels up against them.
“They managed somehow to keep the main players fresh and the Aussies arrived we were into gear straight away, which sometimes hasn’t been the case in the past.
“We’ve at times woken up on the back foot, but as soon as they got here we put the foot in straight away which is very pleasing.”
Boucher said that he would like to see more of the same in their last few series’ and hoped that the new men who have been in outstanding form can take that with them to the World Cup.
He continued: “Currently we have our top players in good form on the bowling and batting side. We have two or three match winners in the bowling department and three or four of them in the batting department which is fantastic to see.”
Boucher also hinted that he might be making a comeback later this month. He and a few other former internationals, including Kevin Pietersen, will be involved in charity event at Old Edwardians cricket club on October 18 where corporate will have the chance to test their skills against the legends they have been supporting for so many years.
“Technically I’m still injured, but we’ll see, maybe I’ll get the gloves on,” Boucher quipped.
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