Monday Jan 25, 2021
South Africa’s head coach Mark Boucher on Monday said that they are not afraid to take risks and 'try something new' in the two-match Test series against Pakistan starting tomorrow.
Talking to media in the pre-match press conference, the 44-year-old said that while they don’t know much about the conditions, South Africa will play the game with an open mindset and experiment things wherever needed.
“We’re not scared to go out there and try something new. If we want to win a series away from home, we've got to make a couple of brave calls," Boucher said. “We sort of came here thinking reverse swing will play a role, but after you look at the conditions it is not what we thought it’s going to be.”
The former cricketer mentioned that conditions are different than what he had observed back when he toured the country in 2007 as a player. “Conditions are completely different. It’s definitely going to turn with nothing much for seamers,” he said.
While confirming that South Africa will ‘definitely be playing two spinners,’ Boucher said that Keshav Maharaj will be leading the spin attack. “Being our main spin bowler over the last few years, he didn't have the best tour of India,” he said. “We've worked on a couple of technical things. I know he is itching to get out there, especially in these conditions where he knows he will be bowling a lot. I’m looking forward to watch him with the changes that he has made.”
The Proteas head coach mentioned how their typical mindset makes it challenging to adapt to sub-continent conditions. “I think it’s our South African mindset that we revert back to the seaming options but if it’s going to turn we must make the right selection and not be scared to try more options,” he said.
Regarding team’s approach, Boucher mentioned that they’re not targeting any specific individuals or thinking too much about the opponent, rather focusing on their own strengths. “We look at ourselves and we try and control what we can control. We have got to get our skills and execution right.”
The former player also emphasized on the importance of scoring a big total in first innings. “That’s the most important part of playing in sub-continent; to get a big score in first innings,” he said. “Wickets here are good for first couple or three days, then the ball starts turning. We are aware of the challenge ahead as batting unit, so a big innings score will be a big bonus.”
Pakistan will play the first Test of the two-match series against South Africa on Tuesday at National Stadium Karachi.