(Reuters) – Coach Mark Boucher believes his South Africa side is becoming “smarter” on the field and feeling the positive influence of new captain Dean Elgar following their 2-0 test series win in the West Indies.
The tourists recorded two big victories in Saint Lucia — by an innings and 63 runs in the first test and by 158 runs in the second game that finished on Monday — to claim their first away series victory since a 1-0 success in New Zealand in 2017.
The retirement of a number of the team’s experienced players in a relatively short space of time has led to an almost total rebuild of the side. While there have been some painful recent results, Boucher can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s not a relief. There’s been a lot of hard work that’s been done behind the scenes,” Boucher told reporters. “We were working on quite a few technical things and upskilling our players. When you have got a young team, the best place for them to learn to play cricket is in foreign conditions.
“This is how you develop players, in different conditions, and this is how they learn about their games and the slight little adjustments that can make them into world class players.”
Elgar said during the series that he was happy for his side to play “boring cricket” to grind out results, but Boucher has a different view of their approach.
“Dean might say it’s boring, we say it’s disciplined cricket,” he said. “This is what test cricket is all about – being able to absorb pressure in certain stages and then being able to apply it. Guys are becoming smarter at choosing those moments.”
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)