Mark Boucher. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ASHLEY VLOTMAN
Mark Boucher. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ASHLEY VLOTMAN

The Proteas are ready to unleash an aggressive brand of cricket on England when the teams start a three-match Twenty20 International series at Newlands on November 27, their coach Mark Boucher says.

Both sides are in quarantine in Cape Town ahead of the tour, which includes three one-day internationals, but are able to train and will play intra-squad games in preparation.

Boucher said his side is using those to work on a new approach he hopes will reverse a slide in fortunes across all three formats.

“We have started afresh and restructured our values,” he told reporters on Thursday. “It is all based on a performance model. Now is the time we can put it to the test, and who better to test us than the [50-over] world champions England. I am excited and nervous, but I think that is a good thing. A lot of the players are nervous, too.”

Boucher said the new philosophy is about a change in mindset and a more positive approach to the game.

“We want to be nice and aggressive, that is the way the game is going. You can’t be mavericks either, you need to be smart. We are trying to help the batters and bowlers add shots or varieties of balls to their game to help them develop.”

There are two Twenty20 World Cups in the next two years, first in India in October-November 2021 and then a year later in Australia.

Boucher would still like to have AB de Villiers, who has retired from international cricket, available for those tournaments.

“I have not had a discussion with him since Covid-19. We will see as we get closer to the time of the World Cup. I still believe he is one of the best players in the world.” 

SA’s preparation for the series England suffered a jolt with three players placed in isolation after one of them tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Nearly 50 tests were conducted before players and support staff entered their bio-secure base in Cape Town for the series.

“One player has returned a positive test result and two players were considered close contacts based on the risk assessment undertaken by the medical team,” Cricket SA said in a statement.

“All three players have been placed in immediate isolation in Cape Town as part of the Covid-19 protocols. While all players are asymptomatic, Cricket SA’s medical team will monitor them to ensure their health and wellbeing.”

The three were not identified. SA have not named any replacements but two new players will join the group for the inter-squad practice matches on Saturday.

Reuters

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