Mark Boucher, “Losing Aiden Markram before starting the first game was tough, It put pressure on us”

Mark Boucher, “Losing Aiden Markram before starting the first game was tough, It put pressure on us”

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20 Jun 2022
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Mark Boucher

Interestingly, the five-match T20I series between India and South Africa ended in a decisive tie. However, heavy rains dashed all hopes of both the sides taking the reins in the tie. Mark Boucher shared his stand regarding the team soon after in a press conference.

Monsoon clouds loomed large over the Indian city of Bengaluru in the days leading up to the decisive battle. Despite this, it was expected that some cricket would be played on Sunday evening to end a thrilling series.

The final game was initially reduced to 19 overs on one side as rain was predicted and proceedings were delayed. Stand-in South Africa captain Keshav Maharaj won the toss and invited India to bat.

Injured Temba Bavuma, Tabrez Shamsi and Marco Janssen were not included in the squad. All three were replaced by Tristan Stubbs, Reeza Hendrix and Kagiso Rabada. India enjoyed an explosive start to their batting effort when Ishan Kishan hit Maharaj for two consecutive sixes in the opening over, scoring 16 runs.

Proteas pacer Lungi Ngidi then dismissed the hosts’ openers to bundle out India for 28 for two. But only three overs were bowled and after that it started raining.

In the process, he also broke India’s 12-match winning streak. When they went 2-0 up in the series thanks to Heinrich Klaasen’s batting in Cuttack, it looked like they could ride the wave for at least one more match. A win in the third T20 would have given the Proteas an unassailable 3-0 lead.

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Mark Boucher, whose side is preparing for the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia from October 16, condoled the loss of the versatile Aiden Markram – who batted well for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The belligerent batsman, who has a T20 average of 39.2, tested positive for Covid-19 before the start of the series – after which he had to be ruled out. His loss would be one of the few health shocks for Boucher’s men.

Throughout the series, the impressive Quinton de Kock missed two games due to injury, while star bowler Kagiso Rabada was absent for the same reason in the fourth match. Captain Bavuma was ruled out of the decider due to a shoulder injury.

“There are a lot of lessons we can take from [this result]. Losing Aiden Markram before starting the first game was tough. It put pressure on us. We wanted to play with six batsmen, with Aiden bowling our sixth. There were options. We couldn’t do that,” Mark Boucher said in his post-series press conference.

“You come to India on the back of an IPL season. Many of their players are in good form. They have played a lot of cricket in these conditions. We didn’t play our best cricket… but yes, a lot of lessons in a World Cup year where we can still see if we can bridge some of the gap by going to Australia,” said the 45-year-old.

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