IND vs SA: South Africa head coach Mark Boucher praised senior India pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his outstanding performance with the ball throughout the series and for putting the visitors under pressure during the power-play phase.
After rain forced India and South Africa to share the series 2-2 in Bengaluru on Sunday, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was named Player of the Series for picking wickets in four matches at an average of 14.16 and a strike rate of 10.4, with an electrifying spell of 4/13 at Cuttack in a losing cause his best effort in the series.
IND vs SA: Mark Boucher Praises Bhuvneshwar Kumar
“We came up against some quality bowling. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) was exceptional in this whole series. He put us under pressure in the Power-plays.
Barring one game, that’s an area that India dominated us in, with both bat and ball over our players, and that’s something we will look into and try and improve,” said Boucher after the match.
According to Boucher, South Africa needed to improve their batting in the first six overs, who admitted that playing consecutive matches was difficult for his team. “We’re going to bat up front” (the way we battled).
We struggled to get going in several of the games. We discuss it after each game and adjust our mindset, especially in the third game. We didn’t go in with the necessary intent.”
“At times, our bowling was excellent. And, on occasion, we appeared a little rusty. I can understand that because we had some guys coming in off the back end of the IPL who were tired, some coming off major injuries, and some guys sitting on the sidelines of the IPL who weren’t playing games. Finding your feet in back-to-back games is difficult.”
Even before the first ball of the series was bowled, South Africa was dealt a significant blow when Aiden Markram was ruled out due to Covid-19.
Despite having to shuffle the batting order in Markram’s absence, Boucher was pleased with South Africa’s ability to maintain their record of not losing a limited-overs series in India since 2011.
“We didn’t play our best cricket; it was tough on IPL players to tour India back-to-back. It was tough on them mentally, but they will enjoy the break. But a lot of lessons, especially in a World Cup year where we can still see if we can plug a few gaps going to Australia. You don’t just rock up in India and expect to win. We’ve asked a few questions on this tour and got some excellent answers.
“There are plenty of lessons we can take (from this result). It was tough losing Aiden Markram before we even started the first game. It puts us under pressure. We wanted to play six batters, with Aiden also our sixth bowling option.
But we couldn’t do that. You come to India off the back of an IPL season. A lot of their players are in good form. They’ve played a lot of cricket in these conditions. I’ll take two-all.”