There are two articles about the Proteas which apply to the Protea batting,

Forum » Cricket » There are two articles about the Proteas which apply to the Protea batting,

Jan 20, 2020, 09:34

Those are one dealing with Boucher blaming himself for the collapse of the team and the second about Du Plessis's future as a test player.   Lets quote both and then have a discussion on both:-

The Boucher Failure

Head coach Mark Boucher says he takes full responsibility for the Proteas' struggles in their ongoing Test series against England.

South Africa will almost certainly go 2-1 down in the series on Monday, unless they are saved by the rain on day five of the third Test at St George's Park.

On Sunday, the hosts were woeful once again and at stumps they were 102/6 in their second innings, still needing another 188 runs to make England bat again. 

The top order continues to misfire and is a major cause for concern heading into the fourth Test at the Wanderers, but Boucher said now was not the time to start singling out individuals. 

"If you look at the bigger situation, we can't start pointing fingers at the moment. I look at it as a time to self-reflect and at the moment my mind is looking at myself and how I take responsibility," he told media after the day's play on Sunday. 

"Ultimately, I've got to take responsibility for the performance of the team. How do I, mentally and physically, upskill these guys in a short period of time to make them better players? That's what is in my mind presently."

One of the most logical swaps for Wanderers is likely to see struggling No 3 Zubayr Hamza replaced by Temba Bavuma, but Boucher said no decisions have been taken yet. 

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that a couple of our batters are under pressure and they know that as well and are working hard at it," he said.

"It's a situation where if there is someone to leave out, it won't mean that we've forgotten about him. It might just be a lack of form and confidence. We're certainly not throwing anyone away at this stage."

The form of skipper Faf du Plessis has also been worrying for the Proteas and returns of 8 and 36 in this Test will do little to extinguish the questions that are being raised over his future in the format. 

"For me his state of mind is going to be a lot better if he gets out there and scores runs. We all know that he is under pressure in the media and from a confidence point of view," Boucher said of his captain. 

"The positive for me today is that he actually got out there and gave himself a chance to have a look at the conditions and it looked like he had some good rhythm.

"He'll sit back in the changeroom and look at the situation and be disappointed in his performance today and in the Test match, but I'm sure he'll take confidence from being out there in the middle and facing a few balls."

When asked if this was the lowest point of South African cricket since readmission given the struggles of the national side throughout 2019 and now again in 2020, Boucher again said it was his responsibility to put things right.

"That's a big call, but I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion. I've been in teams where we've been pretty low as well," he said."

I do not think Boucher should blame himself at all.   After all Kallis is the batting coach and  the teams he get from the Selection Committee is total shit,    The fact is the outcome is the result of shit decisions by SAC and he cannot be held responsible for that.

The Du Plessis Captaincy

The look of disappointment of captain Faf du Plessis' face when he was dismissed for 36 (123) on day four of the third Test against England at St George's Park told its own story. 

The 35-year-old, considered by many to be one of the finest natural leaders South African cricket has produced, is having a nightmarish run that is threatening his future. 

Du Plessis and the Proteas have been woeful in Port Elizabeth, and while the likes of Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza and Rassie van der Dussen can argue their inexperience at this level, Du Plessis cannot. 

This is his 64th Test match and, with Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers no longer, South Africa needed their captain to stand up and score big runs in this series.

Instead, Du Plessis has carded scores of 29, 20, 1, 19, 8 and 36 in the series with the Proteas top order misfiring constantly. 

The dejected body language as he plodded off the St George's Park turf was enough to further raise the question of exactly how much time Du Plessis has left as Test skipper. 

The 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia in September is potentially his final participation on the international stage, and before then South Africa only play two others Test matches after this England series. 

Those will be against the West Indies in the Caribbean in July, but given how things have gone against England, there is no guarantee that Du Plessis will be there. 

There is, of course, no obvious replacement as Test captain presently. 

When asked if this would be Du Plessis' final Test series after play on day four, coach Mark Boucher confirmed that he had not spoken to the skipper about his future. 

"I've got no clue. He hasn't said anything," Boucher said.

"I don't think so." 

The coach did acknowledge, though, that Du Plessis had not scored the runs he would have liked.

 "For me his state of mind is going to be a lot better if he gets out there and scores runs. We all know that he is under pressure in the media and from a confidence point of view," Boucher said of his captain. 

"The positive for me today is that he actually got out there and gave himself a chance to have a look at the conditions and it looked like he had some good rhythm.

"He'll sit back in the changeroom and look at the situation and be disappointed in his performance today and in the Test match, but I'm sure he'll take confidence from being out there in the middle and facing a few balls."

When play resumed on Monday morning, the Proteas will be 102/6 in their second innings, still a mammoth 188 runs behind England.   Unless there is significant rain, they will lose the match and go down 2-1 in the series heading into the Wanderers. 

The answer really is simple - Boucher has no idea as to what would happen in this case - since neither Graeme Smith nor he has any say in squad selection by the selection committee made up of people with no decent  cricket expert record,

Then there is the obvious signs of decline due to the age factor,  Once that set in at the age of 35 there is no means of recovery to an acceptable level at all.   Amla went the same way and did not recover - neither would Du Plessis.  The problem relates to  eye-hand co-ordination - once gone it remains gone.   Physically it is not possible to reverse that deficiency,          


   

 
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