South Africa coach Mark Boucher was happy to take positives from a frustrating night when his ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener against Zimbabwe was called off in Hobart on Monday.
The Proteas have picked up just one point from their first appearance at this year’s T20 World Cup after persistent rain during their clash with the African side meant a result was not possible.
It was a frustrating finish at Bellerive Oval for Boucher as his side dominated much of the match which was reduced to just nine overs a side and were 29 runs short of the victory target when the rain really started.
But Boucher was impressed with the efforts of his players and happy to take the point and move on to the next match South Africa will play against Bangladesh in Sydney on Thursday.
“The positive thing is that it’s not a do-or-die game for us and we’re still in control of what happens in this World Cup,” Boucher said.
“We haven’t had a good history with rain (in previous World Cups) but I’d prefer it to happen in the first game now where we’re still in control of what we can actually do.”
“It’s a tough group, and there’s probably one game that’s really going to be a game that we’re going to have to win, but we’ll see.” It’s still very early in the tournament.
“I’m happy that our intensity was very good today, so that’s a positive I can take from that. And, also, Quinny (de Kock) played some special cricket shots, which I think sends a bit of a message as well.”
The biggest bright spot to come out of the match for South Africa was the form of opener Quinton de Kock, with the left-hander looking in ominous form as he smashed an impressive 47* off just 18 deliveries.
The 29-year-old hit eight fours and one massive six during his unbeaten run and Boucher believes this bodes well for the rest of the tournament.
“Kinney is one of the most dangerous hitters in the world when he plays like that, so it’s nice from a coaching perspective to see him go out there and play with that freedom,” Boucher said.
“It’s very good for Quinn to see a moment where he actually came out and played a free-flowing game that we know Quinton de Kock, if he comes in, is very dangerous.”
“I’m happy he started like that. I hope he can continue with that confidence and that freedom, because then I think we’ll get the best out of him.”
Boucher left out star spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and experienced batsman Riza Hendricks from his squad against Zimbabwe, but said the duo would come into consideration for selection as the tournament progresses.
“There are other players in the 15 (man squad) who sit on the sidelines as well and I think that’s the strength of our unit at the moment,” Boucher said.
“We have good depth and we have good options.
“We decided to go with an extra seamer today, which is quite harsh for Shamsi, but I think it was the right decision, especially with the rain around us.
“We’ve got some good options going forward. If guys might get injured or lose form, we’ve got guys to back them up.”