Mark Boucher. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
- Mark Boucher admitted the Proteas should’ve easily beaten the Netherlands but noted the unpredictability of T20 cricket.
- South Africa crashed out of the T20 World Cup on Sunday following an embarrassing defeat to the Netherlands in Adelaide.
- The Proteas have yet to make a final of any ICC event and Boucher says it’s only natural for that to be on players’ minds.
Outgoing Proteas coach Mark Boucher admits that failing at multiple ICC events has “naturally” played on the team’s mind after South Africa crashed out of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
The Proteas produced a forgettable performance on Sunday as they suffered an embarrassing 13-run defeat to the Netherlands at Adelaide Oval.
Needing a win against the minnow team to reach the semi-finals, history repeated itself and it resulted in another failed World Cup campaign for the Proteas.
South Africa failed to chased 159 and lost wickets at regular intervals to end on 145-8.
It was the Netherlands’ first-ever T20 win against the Proteas and resulted in SA’s shocking exit from the T20 World Cup in Australia.
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Boucher, who has been involved in three T20 World Cup campaigns as a player, says it is difficult to explain why the Proteas continue to fall short at every ICC event.
However, he acknowledged the Netherlands were just better on the day.
“I think the more you don’t do well in World Cups, I think it does start playing in your head a bit. I think that’s just natural,” Boucher told reporters on Sunday.
“I don’t think that’s been the case of late. We’ve played in some tight games in World Cups and we’ve actually won them.
“Having a look at that, using the past, we’ve tended to lose those games. We were never really in this game today, to be fair, so it’s not like you look at it and go, ‘from the start of the game on paper, yes, we should have won the game’, but the game is not played on paper,” he continued.
“It’s actually played out there in the middle… [when] we got out there, we just didn’t start off well. I think they batted well. They were brave. They can come out and play brave cricket, the situation that they’re in, as well, which makes them dangerous and then we weren’t able to get momentum back on our side.
“We put ourselves under pressure with the bat a bit up front by losing a few wickets, and I think, as I said, they read the conditions really well, and they adapted quicker than what we did, and it made it very tough for us.”
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It was Boucher’s final game as Proteas coach, as he will now coach Indian Premier League giants, the Mumbai Indians.
The Proteas ended the T20 World Cup third in their group, with India and Pakistan progressing to the semi-finals.
While Boucher expressed his disappointment in South Africa’s exit, he believes it’s just the nature of T20 cricket these days.
“I think each one is an individual event. I know there’s a lot of history behind South African cricket and World Cups and that, but the last World Cup, I thought we played some very good cricket. We lost one game and were knocked out,” said Boucher.
“This time around, if you would have said to us we’ve got [the] Netherlands to play to get into a semi-final and we’ve got to beat them, we would have taken that at the start of the tournament. But yeah, these things happen. It’s not the only upset that’s happened in the tournament.
“I think in T20 cricket, you can get on to a bit of a roll, one or two batters come off, create a bit of pressure, and this happens. There’s been some very good sides that have been beaten by – if you want to call them the ‘lesser countries’ – but I think it’s made some exciting cricket throughout the whole competition.”
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