South African head coach Mark Boucher savored the sweet victory while hailing his players for bouncing back from going 1-0 to register a brilliant 2-1 Test series win over India as they beat the visitors by 7 wickets in the third and deciding match at Newlands, Cape Town.
The Proteas chased down 212 with seven wickets to spare on Day Four of the third Test in Cape Town. The hosts began the day needing 101 more and lost only one wicket before a dominant win. Keegan Petersen led the way with a sublime 82, while Rassie van der Dussen and Bavuma stayed till the end to see their side over the finish line.
It’s Been Great. It Doesn’t Surprise Me: Mark Boucher On South Africa Beating India 2-1 In Test Series
India had created history by winning their maiden Test in Centurion by 113 runs. But South Africa bounced back to win the second Test in Johannesburg as Indian batting started to falter and in the third Test match, fell apart completely. Boucher admitted people thought South Africa stood no chance against this Indian side. The former keeper-batter had special words for Bavuma and Elgar.
“A lot of people, including the media, had written us off after day one of the first Test. It’s been great. It doesn’t surprise me, because you’ve got Dean as well who is that sort of character and he led from the front. You’ve got Temba as the vice-captain who is the same fighter with that spirit in him. So you’ve got two leaders like that who the guys are going to follow. The guys stood up with regards to their own games as well,” Boucher told News24.
Keegan Petersen, who made 72 and 82 in the third Test, earned the Man of the Match award. He also got the Player of the Series award for his 276 runs in six innings at 46 with three half-centuries.
“This Is Something That Our Boys Certainly Won’t Take For Granted” – Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher further lauded his unit, calling this Test series win a breakthrough for the transitioning Proteas team which has lost some of its star players over the years, including Quinton de Kock, who retired from Tests after the first match in Centurion.
He said: “To come back after losing the first day badly to then compete in the first Test, and then to win the second and third Tests… This Indian team is probably the best team in world cricket Test-wise at the moment. This is something that our boys certainly won’t take for granted.”
“It was quite a nervous day for the changing room. As a coach, you actually have your hands tied behind your back and you can’t go out there and change the game at all. But from a nerves perspective, it was one of my more nervous Test days,” he added.
Now the two teams will engage in three ODIs which begin from January 19.