Boucher warns Proteas players to step up or miss out

South Africa coach Mark Boucher has given a warning to his players that they have to either step up or miss out.Boucher warns Proteas players to step up or miss out

Boucher, regarded as one of the best wicketkeeper-batsman of all time, also said that the current players need to “put their hands up” if they want to be part of the country’s squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

This statement comes on the back of the team’s record low score and a record defeat in the first T20I against Australia at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

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Set for a target of 197 runs to win, the hosts were folded for just 89 runs inside 15 overs to hand Australia a 107-run victory. The second of the three matches will be played in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Ahead of the second T20I, Boucher said: “There are certain places up for grabs and with guys getting opportunities, it’s important that they take them now.”

He further added, “A month or so before the World Cup we want to have our minds made up on who we want to take as a 15-man squad. It’s difficult for players to make a name for themselves a month before the tournament. Now is the time that players need to put their hands up and stake a claim for positions.”

While AB de Villiers is expected to make a comeback and strengthen the Proteas batting line up, experienced T20 campaigners like Chris Morris and Imran Tahir may also come into the reckoning, and hence Boucher’s warning that performances from now on will be crucial seems more relevant than ever.

Meanwhile, South Africa had to forgo 20 per cent of their match fee for maintaining a slow over-rate in their T20I series opener on Friday.

Match Referee Andrew Pycroft found Quinton de Kock’s side one over short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

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