Mark Boucher feels the Australia-South Africa Test series will be hotly contested © Getty Images
Mark Boucher feels the Australia-South Africa Test series will be hotly contested © Getty Images


Jan 31, 2014


Though Mitchell Johnson may have had the England batsmen jumping for cover, former South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher feels that the current South African side will not be intimidated by the speedster during the upcoming tour.


Boucher who retired from international cricket after a freak accident during which a ball struck his eye in 2012, says that though Johnson is one of the fastest bowlers around currently, still South Africa have no reason to be ‘scared’ of the fast bowler reports The Daily Telegraph.


“Mitchell Johnson is a quality bowler. He bowls at 145kmph plus and when a guy who bowls at that pace gets it right, he’s always going to be a handful to face. But I don’t think our batsmen will be as scared of the pace as the English were and I say that because we do face guys bowling at that pace in the nets all the time,” said Johnson.


“The more you face it, the more used to it you become. But in saying that if he does get it right, being a left-armer, he’s going to be a handful,” added Johnson.


Boucher who believes that South Africa have their own pace bowling arsenal in the form of Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn feels that the home side can negate Australia with their fast bowling attack and can win the series.


“The Aussies really got under England’s skin and I think a couple of them did whimper away, to be honest. I don’t think that’s going to happen against South Africa — we can fight fire with fire,” said Boucher.


Though the two teams have mutual respect for each other, the last time the South Africa won a Test series at home against Australia was way back in 1970 and will love to set the record straight this time around.


“Hopefully not. Hopefully there are some exciting things going on. Aussies don’t stand back and I don’t think South Africans stand back either. You can expect a few fiery moments, which is good for the game as long as it all stays above board and as long as it all stays on the field,” said Boucher who expects a cracker of a series between the two teams.


Australia will take on the Proteas in the first Test at Pretoria next week and are gearing up for the game with preparations at Potchefstroom.


Their sole warm-up game will be against the a South African Invitational XI at Senwes Park before the three match Test series.


The Proteas have not played Test cricket since they last beat India 1-0 in the home series last year and are also plagued with injury doubts to important players like Graeme Smith and AB De Villiers.