Kagiso Rabada (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
- Proteas coach Mark Boucher isn’t too concerned about losing five key players to the Indian Premier League.
- Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, David Miller and Quinton de Kock leaving after Sunday’s Pink ODI at the Wanderers.
- Andile Phehlukwayo has been passed fit to play against Pakistan, but Boucher is worried about his lack of cricket.
Proteas coach Mark Boucher has identified the loss of the Indian Premier League-bound players as an opportunity for him to test his bench strength in the Pakistan limited overs series that starts on Friday with the first ODI at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Boucher will have the India-bound quintet of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, David Miller and Quinton de Kock leaving after Sunday’s Pink ODI at the Wanderers.
While Boucher agreed they’ll be a huge loss that’ll slightly scupper his T20 World Cup preparations in terms of the four T20s against Pakistan that’ll follow the three ODIs, he also knows they haven’t gone on holiday in India.
“We’ve planned for their exit and Cricket South Africa and the Board of Control for Cricket in India have a long-standing agreement to release players. It didn’t quite work out now because of the scheduling that was messed up because of Covid-19. There are pros and cons and it’s not ideal for T20 World Cup preparations, but you have to take the positives too,” Boucher said.
“These guys are going to be in India playing in a good and strong competition. They will be getting first-hand information about the different venues in India while playing against guys they’ll be meeting up against in the T20 World Cup. They’re not going on holiday.”
While Boucher has Wiaan Mulder in the squad, he’s still of the school of thought that Andile Phehlukwayo is a critical component of his limited overs armoury.
Phehlukwayo suffered an injury during the Betway T20 Challenge, but Boucher said he’s passed fit to play.
What has worried Boucher is Phehlukwayo’s lack of game time while getting back to full fitness, something he understands is beyond Phehlukwayo’s control.
“Andile got injured in the domestic T20 competition and he’s been doing his recovery. Ideally, we would have loved to play some sort of a game to prove his fitness. He’s gone through a fitness test, which he’s passed, so he’s done what he can to try and make himself available for selection,”