South Africa head coach Mark Boucher has warned Jofra Archer he has told his side to keep going after England paceman, insisting he is not “England’s greatest threat”.
Archer, England’s fastest and most hostile bowler, claimed six wickets as the tourists fell to a 107-run defeat in Centurion but will still reflect on one of the most difficult experiences of his short Test career.
In South Africa’s first innings he only managed to remove tailender Keshav Maharaj and in the second his five-wicket haul was balanced out by the fact he leaked six an over, including four maximums.
That made it his costliest spell so far in Test cricket, having only once in his previous 12 innings gone above four. Boucher revealed that was part of a deliberate strategy and is keen to see it continue.
“I wouldn’t see him as England’s greatest threat. He’s a threat but there are quite a few other bowlers who are a threat in their line-up,” he said.
“I think he’s got a spell in him that can really ruffle a few feathers. But at the time (in the second innings) we were in a position in the game to take him on a bit more. We understand he’s a wicket talker, that he’s going to pick up wickets, but I’ve always encouraged the batters to set up to score.
“If there are scoring opportunities you need to take them. He was under a little bit of pressure because he was going for quite a few runs which meant we were getting some momentum and getting ahead of the game.
“I’m pretty happy with the way we played him.”
Boucher played 147 Tests for his country during a 15-year international career and recently returned to lead a set-up which had been lurching from crisis to crisis. The squad have already praised his influence and his sense of pride as he looked back on his first match in charge was impossible to miss.
“I might go a bit greyer a bit earlier than I expected, but it’s a great feeling for me to back,” he said.
“I’ve been out of Protea cricket for quite some time so it’s an honour to be back in the changing room and hopefully playing a part in a change in South Africa cricket. By no means does this mean everything is solved but I’m looking forward to working with the guys.
“There’s quite a few changes made in the dressing but the passion and the spirit is still there. A few of the guys had lumps in their throats afterwards which shows it means a lot for them to win a game of Test cricket.”
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