SA in West Indies

New-look SA ditch Boucher

2010-05-18 22:12
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - AB de Villiers will take over the wicketkeeping duties from Mark Boucher for the first part of the limited overs section of the Proteas’ tour of the West Indies.

This was announced by Proteas’ captain Graeme Smith when he and his West Indies counterpart, Chris Gayle, addressed a joint Media conference on Tuesday ahead of the first two Pro20 International matches to be played at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium, Antigua, on Wednesday and Thursday (8pm start South African time).

This will be followed by a series of five One-Day Internationals, the first two of which will be played at the same venue on Saturday and Monday (3.30pm start South African time).

“AB (de Villiers) will be starting with the gloves in the limited overs matches,” commented Smith. “There is a new selection committee and a few new ideas. We only have something like 15 ODIs before we get to India for the World Cup, so we have to make every one of them count.”

Smith added that the loss of Boucher’s experience had to be balanced against the other selection options.

“When a guy (like Boucher) has played over 300 ODIs you are always going to miss that experience. He has been a talisman of the side for a long period of time now. He has been part of a core group of senior players who have performed regularly and the selectors have taken the decision now to look ahead at some new options and certainly having AB to keep allows you one or two extra options in the line-up.

“We will look at that. Andrew Hudson (the convener of selectors) has arrived here today and we will sit down together and select the team for the game.”

Smith also reflected on the recent ICC World Twenty20 in which the Proteas fared disappointingly, winning only two out of five matches and not getting beyond the Super Eights stage.

“From my point of view it was a very disappointing performance that we put up in the World Twenty20. The team has taken a lot of flak back home and rightly so. We have got to take responsibility for that.

“The team has really worked hard in the last few days we have had here in Antigua and it is up to the team to perform well here and regain face with the public back home.

“We never hit our straps at the tournament. We never played to the level of play we have managed to produce over the last period of time. There are always a thousand things you can look at to improve but we need to move forward to bounce back. We have got a few new players who have arrived here and they will provide fresh impetus and momentum.

“Confidence is an important thing and we need to start the West Indies tour strongly.”

The Proteas will select from a squad of 14 for the first match. Lonwabo Tsotsobe arrived today with Hudson after a day’s delay caused by technical problems with their air carrier.

David Miller, an 11th hour selection in place of the injured Wayne Parnell, was only able to apply for a visa on Monday and is expected in the Caribbean in midweek.

Hashim Amla, Alviro Petersen and Ryan McLaren all had their first practices in the Caribbean on Tuesday after Monday’s session had been washed out.

Read more on:    proteas  |  mark boucher  |  ab de villiers

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