South African coach Mark Boucher attributed the success of his team during the two-match Test series against the West Indies here to players aligning with the thinking of skipper Dean Elgar. The Proteas defeated the Kraigg Brarhwaite-led West Indies by 158 runs in the second Test on Monday to make a clean sweep of the series here.
“The new captain (Elgar) asked a couple of questions about where we are and where we are going and where we want to be. Quite a few honest chats came out there as they do around a South African fire at night,” said Boucher, the former South African wicketkeeper who played 147 Tests and scored more than 5,500 runs.
“The guys all really bought into a process that he wanted to align his reign with. That’s where we all stood back and said we are either on the bus or not on the bus. Thankfully everyone decided they were on the bus. And it doesn’t only work when you are on the field. A lot of effort has to be put in behind closed doors in the way we train, the way we talk, the language, the confidence. That is probably where it started. At that fire,” Boucher told ESPNcricinfo.
This was the Proteas’s maiden overseas victory since March 2017, but Boucher said it was too early to talk about resurgence of South African cricket. He felt that to assess the team’s strength, it should be challenged properly.
“I am looking forward to the time where we get put under pressure and to see how we respond as a unit. That’s where we can judge where we really are.”
On Elgar’s style of captaincy, Boucher said that the skipper was striking a chord with the players and that was essential.
“The language he has been speaking is resonating with the players, so good on him for bringing that sort of language. This is what Test cricket is all about — being able to absorb pressure in certain stages and then being able to apply. Guys are becoming smarter at choosing those moments. It was impressive and it’s good to see that the leader is sending out a language and the guys are responding to it.”