Mark Boucher took responsibility for the team’s downward performance
South Africa’s Mark Boucher said that he took the responsibility for the team’s downward performance in what is heading to be a humiliating defeat in the third Test against England at St George’s Park.
Coach Mark Boucher took the responsibility for the team’s downward performance in the third Test against England.
England captain Joe Root produced a Test-best bowling performance, taking four for 31 as South Africa ended the fourth day still 188 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat with only four wickets left.
They finished a day marked by a largely woeful batting performance on 102 for six after being forced to follow on.
England now seem assured of taking an unbeatable 2-1 series lead into the final Test starting in Johannesburg.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Boucher.
“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?”
He responded to the comments that South African cricket was at its lowest ebb since unity in 1991.
Boucher said, “That’s a big call. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions.”
“I’ve been in teams where we’ve been pretty low as well. Yes, we’re in a bad situation in this particular game but we’re not out of the series yet.”
“I have to find a way to get the guys ready for tomorrow and for the last Test match as well.”
With speculation mounting about the future of captain Faf du Plessis, who has been out of form in recent months, Boucher tacitly admitted that the player was struggling.
“His state of mind is going to be a lot better when he scores runs.”
Du Plessis top-scored with 36 in the second innings.
“We all know he’s under pressure from the media and from a confidence point of view so the positive for me today is that he actually got out there today and gave himself a chance,” said Boucher.
“He looked like he had some rhythm in a really tough situation. I’m sure he’ll take a lot of confidence from the fact that he faced quite a few balls and got to spend some time in the middle.”
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