Ahead of his final One-day International (ODI) with South Africa as their head coach, Mark Boucher stated it would be great for his team to finish their white-ball tour of India on a high with a win in the series decider at New Delhi.
Boucher, a former South Africa wicketkeeper-batter, has held the head coach position in the side since December 2019 and led South Africa to memorable series victories, including defeating India 2-1 in Tests and 3-0 in ODIs at home.
After the white-ball bilateral tour of India, Boucher's last assignment with South Africa before he steps down from the role is the Men's T20 World Cup in Australia later this month. He has been confirmed as the head coach of five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians from the 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"It is tough to win a bilateral series here, the schedule has been hectic too. But a win would give us good momentum. It has been a draining tour, would be nice to finish on a high. The batters spending time in the middle and bowlers getting some action, too, would help stay ready for the T20 World Cup," said Boucher in a pre-match chat with the broadcasters.
With players like Temba Bavuma, Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj down with flu, South Africa have included Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen and Andile Phehlukwayo in the playing eleven for Tuesday's series decider.
"We might see a lot of rotation. We have some time between now and the start of the World Cup with a couple (of) warm up games. We need to rotate a bit, and need to be smart managing the guys," stated Boucher.
South Africa's current tour of India began with them posting just 106 on the board in the first T20I, before losing the series 2-1. In ODIs, after getting 10 vital points through nine-run win in Lucknow in their quest for direct qualification for ODI World Cup in India next year, South Africa suffered a setback as India stemmed their run-flow in back-end of the innings and then chased down 278.
"We've had one poor batting performance in the whole tour (in the first T20I at Thiruvananthapuram). We got a bit stuck after the 35th over last game (in Ranchi) which cost us about 30 runs," added Boucher.
Boucher signed off by saying with the shorter boundaries in New Delhi, one can expect the South Africa bowling attack to be aggressive in defence of whatever the batters post in the first innings."But our focus is on the bowling with smaller boundaries, you might get to see a bit of aggression today.
We haven't hit our lengths as well as we wanted too, so we want to put that right. There are always things to work on, hopefully we get better at things."