The Proteas celebrate (Gallo)
- Head coach Mark Boucher says the Proteas are in a “good space” presently.
- South Africa beat India 2-1 in their Test series against India, winning the third Test in Cape Town on Friday.
- Boucher acknowledged the team had experienced “tough times” recently.
Proteas coach Mark Boucher acknowledged on Friday that his side had experienced “tough times” recently, but he believes the group is in a good space following their series win over India.
The Proteas, led by two sublime Keegan Petersen knocks of 72 and 82, won the third Test at Newlands on Friday to emerge 2-1 victors in the series, having gone 1-0 down against the top-ranked side in the game.
While performances on the field have consistently frustrated supporters ever since the 2019 World Cup in England, the off-field matters of administrative malfunction and a thorough examination of the racial inequalities in South Africa’s cricket history have provided their own challenges.
It has all contributed towards a sport that has limped along in this country over the last two Covid-19 years, and this result is precisely the injection of positivity needed to convince stakeholders and supporters that things are on the right track once more.
Boucher, himself, was implicated in the recently-completed Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearings for his role in the discrimination former Proteas spinner Paul Adams endured during his playing days.
He has apologised since, and this win is easily the highlight of his Proteas tenure so far.
Results aside, what looks abundantly clear right now is that this Proteas group is united.
“I believe that we turned the corner quite a while ago, and our results have been pretty solid over the last six months to a year,” Boucher said after the third Test.
“We went through a period in Covid times when our directive was just to get cricket back up and running, and we tried out a few players, and I think that’s starting to come good now. We’re starting to get a depth of cricketers that we can turn to.
“You lose out on a guy like Anrich Nortje (to injury), who was a big loss for us, but then you get Marco Jansen coming to the party.
“We’re in a good space at the moment, but our feet are firmly on the ground. We know that we’re not the finished product. We’ll enjoy this win, and it’s certainly something we can take a lot of confidence out of.”
Boucher said he was proud of his players’ attitude when times were tough, and he called for spectators to get back behind the Proteas.
“This team is on their own mission, really. If people want to jump on the back of that, then that’s great, and it will be much appreciated,” he said.
“We’ve been through some tough times of late, and the players are driven in a way that is pretty special, and it’s a special changeroom to be in.
“I’m incredibly proud of where they’ve come from over a short period of time, and the results are starting to come now, which is fantastic for everyone.
“It was a tense day, but a day the guys will remember 0n how to win in tough situations, not only in this Test match but the last Test match as well.”