South Africa head coach Mark Boucher on Friday ranked the exceptional, come-from-behind 2-1 collection win towards World No. 1 India as the most effective of their historical past of Check cricket.
Trailing 0-1 after shedding the Boxing Day opening Check at Centurion, the Dean Elgar-led facet confirmed immense resilience to win back-to-back matches on the Wanderers and Newlands to upset the agency favourites.
“To place it into perspective now we have misplaced three tosses. Lots of people, together with a number of the media, had written us off after day one of many first Check of the collection,” Boucher mentioned on the post-match media interplay.
“So, to return again after shedding the primary Check badly after which to win the second Check and now win the third Check is fairly unimaginable. It would rank up there — in prime 5 should be. The place we have come from, the on-field and off-field stuff… It is good to get some good outcomes. The best way the entire Check collection was performed was laborious fought, some good cricket, it should be up there with a number of the finest Check collection to have performed in South Africa.”
Will take a number of confidence from this triumph
Going into the collection, the hosts had been brief on expertise as they performed their first Check in six months at Centurion. They performed simply six Assessments below new captain Elgar as Australia opted to not journey for a four-match collection final March.
Elgar began his journey with a 2-0 win over the West Indies earlier than shedding to India within the Boxing Day Check.
“It is actually one thing that we will take a number of confidence from. This group is on a mission, actually. We have been via some robust instances of late they usually have pushed in a manner that’s fairly particular. I am extremely happy with the place they arrive from in a brief time period and the outcomes are beginning to come via now which is incredible. Our ft are firmly on the bottom. We all know that we’re not the completed product. We have objectives forward of us. So we’ll get pleasure from this win,” Boucher mentioned.
Going into the fourth day’s play, South Africa began from 101 for 2 and completed the duty with as many as seven wickets in hand.
“These guys deserve it. They have been via rather a lot collectively as a unit. So it is simply good to see that. It is a shut knit group of fellows. The World Cup was an enormous disappointment, though we performed some good cricket all through. It’s simply one thing that was actually wanted in our dressing room to place the laborious work in.”
Not shocked with the character proven
In each the Assessments, the inexperienced facet below Elgar had been set tough targets of over 200 in bouncy circumstances. Elgar confirmed the way in which in Johannesburg, serving to the facet chase down 240 in a seven-wicket win. Right here, Keegan Petersen top-scored with 82 — his third successive Check fifty — because the hosts chased down the 212-run goal.
“It does not shock me since you bought Dean as nicely who’s that form of character who leads from the entrance. You’ve got bought Temba (Bavuma) because the vice-captain who is similar fighter with that spirit in him, so you have bought two leaders like that who the fellows are going to comply with. The blokes stood up with reference to their very own video games as nicely.”
Boucher added, “To place these items into perspective about the place this group is and the place the Indian group is… They’re most likely the most effective group in world cricket Check-wise for the time being. They’ve gone over to England, beat England, beat Australia in Australia. So that is one thing that our boys will not take as a right.”
Loss for phrases for Keegan
For South Africa, Petersen and 21-year-old lanky left-arm pacer Marco Jansen had been the finds of the collection.
Heaping reward on the duo, Boucher mentioned: “You get two children who’ve simply come into the facet. Each of them deserve their little spotlights.”
Petersen, who was taking part in solely his second collection after a lacklustre debut towards the West Indies in June, impressed along with his solidity and composure at No. 3.
The 28-year-old scored three fifties in 4 innings and every time bettered his rating to be adjudged Man of the Collection. He was additionally the Man of the Match of their series-clinching win right here.
“Keegan most likely did not begin off as nicely within the West Indies as he would have appreciated. Then he did not begin off too nicely on the Supersport Park. However he is all the time proven indicators of the participant that we’re seeing proper now. He simply caught to his weapons. He is in a great place to have a man like Dean subsequent to him. He (Dean) actually backs him. He is a troublesome nut and batting at No. 3 in Check cricket, you’ve got to be robust, you bought to know your sport, technically you bought to be sound as nicely. Hopefully he simply will get higher, higher and higher. It is a very robust place to play in South Africa in our circumstances, batting at No. 3. The best way that he is come via the collection, I am perplexed. In a giant collection, towards massive gamers and to get the Man of the Collection, he absolutely deserved it,” Boucher mentioned of Petersen.
Discovered a celebrity in Jansen
Uncapped left-arm seamer Jansen was a revelation and grew from energy to energy after an unimpressive debut within the Boxing Day Check.
“Once you lose out a man like Andre Nortje (hip harm), it was a giant loss for us however then you definately get Marco coming to the facet. We’re actually in a great area for the time being. Lots of people questioned his choice within the first Check. He did not begin off too nicely and the media jumped on him a bit, which I assumed was fairly unfair,” he mentioned of Jansen.
“However we noticed what he had in Pakistan. He was with us within the West Indies, and it was only a matter of time earlier than he got here via as a result of we will see the skillset that he is bought and the variation. Now after we take a look at him and doubtless everybody’s trying the identical, what a discover we have, one other addition to our bowling assault. He has a number of cricket to study. We discover a celebrity in him as nicely. He is solely going to get higher,” he mentioned.
Averaging an outstanding 16.47, Jansen completed with 19 wickets, behind their prime wicket taker Kagiso Rabada (20).
We have turned the nook fairly some time in the past
The top coach additional went on to say that they’ve turned the nook after some forgettable performances within the latest previous together with a group-stage exit within the 2021 T20 World Cup.
“I consider that we have turned the nook fairly some time in the past. Our outcomes have been fairly stable during the last six months to a yr. We had the prospect to attempt a number of gamers. I believe that is beginning to come good now as a result of we began to get a depth of cricketers that we will flip to,” he signed off.