South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 4th day January 5, 2011

The innings that could save Mark Boucher's career

Mark Boucher's 55 in the second innings at Newlands was like a lifeboat for his career. He proved he still has the ability to play under pressure that has made him such an important player for South Africa over the years
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In August this year, Mark Boucher revealed his hurt about being dropped from the South African one-day team. Many thought he saw the snub as something frivolous, like misplacing a five Rand coin in a pair of jeans with deep pockets. He didn't. He said he felt as though he had "been fired from his job" and that he would do everything in his power to show that he is good enough to get that job back.

As yet, he hasn't been able to reclaim the position and things almost became even worse when he began flirting with losing his other job, in the Test side. He had scored just 17 runs in three innings in the current series against India and when Boucher came out to bat on Wednesday, there were murmurs around Newlands that it could well be his last Test innings. So began an almighty fight, to prove the detractors wrong, to get South Africa into a comfortable position in the match and to save his own career.

The tussle was about as pretty to watch as it is to observe a bulldozer mechanically going about tearing a monstrous building to shreds. That was the size of the doubt that Boucher had to break down. Although it was large and looming, it wasn't all unfair. Before this match, in the previous six Tests he played, Boucher had averaged 20.00, well below his career average of 30.70. Some of the criticism levelled against him was unwarranted because, just a season ago, against England, Boucher's three half-centuries earned him the joint man-of-the-series award. Unfortunately, people don't seem to remember that and care more that his last Test century against a team other than Bangladesh came against West Indies more than seven years ago.

The hundreds don't, and shouldn't, matter much to Boucher, who comes in to bat after one of the strongest top six in world cricket. It's when the dry patches start grouping to form a desert and the hoarse cries of people calling for his head get louder, that the anxiety develops. Recently, he has been in fairly barren territory. But, he has shown immense bouncebackability throughout his career and he has had the luxury of time in which to do that.

This may have been the first occasion when it might have seemed like time was running out. With the next Test series scheduled for nine months away, Boucher must have felt an internal ticking to the beat of now or never. He came out with South Africa 130 for 6, and had he fallen early and opened the window to the tail, it would have swung the series heavily in India's favour.

Instead, he starred in a partnership that may end up being the one that wins the series. Boucher's 55 may look like a side-show in comparison to Kallis' undefeated 109, and it was. The real showstopper wasn't either of their innings but the century-stand the two great friends put on because it may prove to be South Africa's saviour. Boucher was geared up for a big task before he even reached the crease. "I came out with an aggressive mindset," Boucher said. The intent was there but the action took seven balls to kick in as he coped with being beaten once and then spent some time defending.

The early stages were the most difficult for Boucher, not because of the conditions, but because of the hostile atmosphere he walked into. "When you get to the crease and the pressure is on and there is a lot of chirping around, it can be quite difficult." Given Boucher's usually bullish personality, one would expect that he was the type to soak up the tension and use it as fuel to endure. Boucher admitted that isn't always the case. "I don't think there is anyone who loves to bat under pressure. I think there are certain people who handle it better."

He absorbed the anxiety well and after three boundaries upfront settled into a rhythm with Kallis, which not only quietened the field but calmed the batsmen's nerves. "We managed to turn the strike around a lot, especially against Harbhajan [Singh] who was bowling well and that made things easier for both of us."

Boucher's elation and relief came only after tea, when he brought up his half-century. At that point the match was edging further in South Africa's favour, with the lead at 223. Boucher's career had found a lifeboat. He was being hailed as the one who overcame the rough seas and found calmer water for the South African second innings to stay afloat in. Kallis was the brave captain of the ship, battling through pain; Boucher was the rower with the oar in hand, every pierce of the water guiding them closer to the shore. He ground out runs on a difficult batting track as though he knew it was the only thing that would redeem him.

This is the innings that will be remembered when the squad is picked to face Australia later in the year. It's the character that Boucher showed that will probably see him secure a spot for that series and not that fact that there are doubts over AB de Villiers' ability to don the wicket-keeping gloves for prolonged periods or that there is no clear successor being groomed for Boucher. It means that he has wrestled back not just his place but the right to call it his place.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Finn92 on January 6, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    I think Prince has more to worry about, most SA fans seem to be calling for Duminy to replace him. Boucher is an old war horse and until a young worthy replacement appears any talk of him being dropped should be disregarded as nonsense

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    india has become dependent on seniors in batting for laxman and sachin and bowling in zaheer..but s.a all bowlers bowled well.....especially steyn.....boucher batted brilliantly in a crunch situation.......

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Yes Boucher had played an Important knock in this test match. But I still do not feel that Boucher is good enough for ODI's or T20 formats. He is very good as wicket keeper but his batting is something gone down very badly. I hope if Boucher is selected for the ODI series against India then he had to do a lot with bat to get selected for World Cup 2011. Selectors of South Africa is now have tough job in selecting World Cup team. Will they stick with experience wicket keeper like Boucher for the World Cup or pick up an inexperienced new wicket keeper. Let us see what happens.

  • DonkieHoed on January 6, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Blah blah blah - No credit ever given to India's opponents. If they draw the game today (as looks likey), I'll say regardless of bowling well done to the Indian batsmen. Yes, there are ALWAYS contributory factors, but not a word about Boucher batting well, SA bowling well in Centurion. India bowled SA out twice in Durban, and regardless of quite a bit of luck (Kallis' runout, a couple terrible decisions) India still did the job, so well done. Poeple that cannot compliment anyone for a job well done, has an utterly rubbish attitude.

  • Smaugaroo on January 6, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    I'm not sure what all this means? In Centurion South Africa bowled well and India assisted them by batting poorly. The toss was crucial, but to assume that India would have won had the toss gone the other way is a little presumptuous. It's hardly the South African teams fault that Zaheer was unfit to play. If that's the excuse then India's Tendulkar / Zaheer is as one dimensional as South Africa's Kallis / Steyn combo.

    @Pr3m - As for Australia's attack (???)....... I think The Ashes speaks for itself..... Throughout this series wickets have been falling to balls pitched up. Boucher is a great puller of the ball. Anything short would be playing to his strength.

  • butterBum on January 6, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    A timely half century that will hold both his and south African cricket reputation intact .south African players should hold their tongue n think twice before they try to intimidate foreign teams. a mediocre Indian bowling attack almost had them and this series.

  • Vindaliew on January 6, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Give Boucher credit where it's due, guys. At 130 for 6, with the prospect of losing the series staring you right in the face, and the real possibility of losing your place forever, it takes great character to steady the ship and take your team to safety. They haven't won the match yet, and might not even do so, but without that partnership the series would most likely be lost and over by now. This attack which everyone is mocking took out 6 top wickets... Boucher made sure that the 7th would not go down meekly, and that is priceless in a team.

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Dude, what we see & perceive from outside is not the scenario inside the dressing room. He is not in SA team for NO reason.

    1. There is no worthy replacement in the wings 2. There is no need to replace him. He is carrying out his primary job (WicketKeeping) on par (if not better) with the best in the world and his fitness is second to none

    I do not see him stepping down for another 1 or 2 years.

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    @gerardpereira20: mate, if thats the case then sachin was 'gifted' by ian gould to make his 51st test century , else india would surely have been looking at a series defeat by now. How about mentioning the fact that Bouchy did well to battle it out there? like a true fighter that he always is? This guy will be an irreplacable wicket keeper for SA. My heartiest congratulations to boucher for a fighting effort yesterday

  • saltmine on January 6, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Well done Mark! Great little knock - will be remembered...

  • Finn92 on January 6, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    I think Prince has more to worry about, most SA fans seem to be calling for Duminy to replace him. Boucher is an old war horse and until a young worthy replacement appears any talk of him being dropped should be disregarded as nonsense

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    india has become dependent on seniors in batting for laxman and sachin and bowling in zaheer..but s.a all bowlers bowled well.....especially steyn.....boucher batted brilliantly in a crunch situation.......

  • on January 6, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Yes Boucher had played an Important knock in this test match. But I still do not feel that Boucher is good enough for ODI's or T20 formats. He is very good as wicket keeper but his batting is something gone down very badly. I hope if Boucher is selected for the ODI series against India then he had to do a lot with bat to get selected for World Cup 2011. Selectors of South Africa is now have tough job in selecting World Cup team. Will they stick with experience wicket keeper like Boucher for the World Cup or pick up an inexperienced new wicket keeper. Let us see what happens.

  • DonkieHoed on January 6, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Blah blah blah - No credit ever given to India's opponents. If they draw the game today (as looks likey), I'll say regardless of bowling well done to the Indian batsmen. Yes, there are ALWAYS contributory factors, but not a word about Boucher batting well, SA bowling well in Centurion. India bowled SA out twice in Durban, and regardless of quite a bit of luck (Kallis' runout, a couple terrible decisions) India still did the job, so well done. Poeple that cannot compliment anyone for a job well done, has an utterly rubbish attitude.

  • Smaugaroo on January 6, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    I'm not sure what all this means? In Centurion South Africa bowled well and India assisted them by batting poorly. The toss was crucial, but to assume that India would have won had the toss gone the other way is a little presumptuous. It's hardly the South African teams fault that Zaheer was unfit to play. If that's the excuse then India's Tendulkar / Zaheer is as one dimensional as South Africa's Kallis / Steyn combo.

    @Pr3m - As for Australia's attack (???)....... I think The Ashes speaks for itself..... Throughout this series wickets have been falling to balls pitched up. Boucher is a great puller of the ball. Anything short would be playing to his strength.

  • butterBum on January 6, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    A timely half century that will hold both his and south African cricket reputation intact .south African players should hold their tongue n think twice before they try to intimidate foreign teams. a mediocre Indian bowling attack almost had them and this series.

  • Vindaliew on January 6, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Give Boucher credit where it's due, guys. At 130 for 6, with the prospect of losing the series staring you right in the face, and the real possibility of losing your place forever, it takes great character to steady the ship and take your team to safety. They haven't won the match yet, and might not even do so, but without that partnership the series would most likely be lost and over by now. This attack which everyone is mocking took out 6 top wickets... Boucher made sure that the 7th would not go down meekly, and that is priceless in a team.

  • on January 6, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Dude, what we see & perceive from outside is not the scenario inside the dressing room. He is not in SA team for NO reason.

    1. There is no worthy replacement in the wings 2. There is no need to replace him. He is carrying out his primary job (WicketKeeping) on par (if not better) with the best in the world and his fitness is second to none

    I do not see him stepping down for another 1 or 2 years.

  • on January 6, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    @gerardpereira20: mate, if thats the case then sachin was 'gifted' by ian gould to make his 51st test century , else india would surely have been looking at a series defeat by now. How about mentioning the fact that Bouchy did well to battle it out there? like a true fighter that he always is? This guy will be an irreplacable wicket keeper for SA. My heartiest congratulations to boucher for a fighting effort yesterday

  • saltmine on January 6, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Well done Mark! Great little knock - will be remembered...

  • mahjut on January 6, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    @gerardpereira20 that is the most ungracious assessment of an opposition team ever likely to be posted on these forums (and we've seen some corkers). Morkel is a top bowler and even Tsotsobe bowled without luck (the fact they're not as good as Steyn doen't make them obsolete). Smith has HUGE runs in the UK where Kallis is poor, AB did ok there too. AB stood up in Oz last time round. There aren't many flat tracks in SA yet... anyway, this track was tough in the first innings as were the overhead conditions not to mention the stat stop nature of it ... the fact is you can only really go by "would have" and if one does the same for the second test one may say that if Kallis hadn't been run out, if Peterson hadn't had his misfortune, if the umps hadn't given Boucher and AB out incorrectly... if Sreesanth hadn't bowled Kallis that ball 'from nowhere' then Indias chances of winning were nil! Never mind, India are a good team and get a chance to show it today.... a draw would be a nice end

  • mahjut on January 6, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    @pr3m I think they're serious, nd why not? Prince hadn't stayed, ABD hadn't stayed, Peterson and Amla hadn't stayed, Boucher did - as he has done in the past. He's faced better Aussies than the ones now on display and fought hard in some tests. He's not finished yet. I'm not an overly sentimental individual and if someone came through with a better looking technique, a willingness to fight and some degree of ability behind the stumps then fine, move on but for now Boucher continues to show his worth.

  • sean_kelly on January 6, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    Too much is being made of this innings. Yes, it was good... great even, but there are far too many occasions (including the most recently completed test in Durban) where his Bulldog spirit was really needed.

    It is time to groom a new keeper. The keeper needs to have a +30 average these days. The two best team (India and England, regardless of what the ranking say) can rely of their keepers for at least that at 7.

  • KannanCbe on January 6, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Dhoni did a fatel mistake. He allowed Ishant and Sreesanth to continue while Boucher came in. They leaked lot of runs which gave Boucher to settle in. Instead if he would switched to Harbhajan , it would have have different story now.

  • BellCurve on January 6, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    @ Donkiehoed - you shouldn't pay any attention to the likes of gerardpereira20. He clearly doesn't know what he is talking about. BTW did you notice that Kallis yesterday broke Tendulkar's record by becoming the youngest man to score 40 Test centuries. Kallis is currently 35 years and 81 days old. He has scored 11,947 runs, including 40 centuries. When Tendulkar was the same age, he had scored 11,782 runs, including 39 centuries. For the first time in his career Kallis is ahead of the little master. The selectors should also bear in mind that Boucher and Kallis are very good mates. If they drop Boucher it may upset Kallis. Anyway, I hope Boucher takes to catches today to become the first player ever to take 500 catches. It is a record that will stand for many, many years.

  • addiemanav on January 6, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    boucher picked up this day to seek redemption!!feeling really lousy..lost a gr8 oppurtunity to win the series!!but even after his dismissal,ind didnt push enough for wkts..they still got 100+ with last 3 wkts..shocking!!

  • LazloWoodbine on January 6, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    @gererarpereira - My friend, if you could have scored those 50 that Boucher did, why aren't you in the Indian team? It must be frustrating as hell being an Indian player with the attitudes - based on these boards, at any rate - a large portion of their fans have. No opposition player knows one end of the bat from the other, has two left feet when it comes to bowling and couldn't catch a cold while fielding. No, when the opposition score runs or take wickets against India, is was poor Indian bowling, the pitch was terrible, Dhoni was a fool, Sachin is selfish, the umpires are blind, the toss was crucial etc etc etc. At what point do some Indian fans acknowledge that other teams and players can actually play the game, and pretty well at that?Anyone who has played competitive cricket acknowledges the skill of their opponent. Boucher has been a great servant to SA and cricket in general and his innings yesterday was typically gritty and determined. All credit to him.

  • Proteas123 on January 6, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    @ gerardpereira20 - Boucher is the Sachin of wicket keepers, show some respect, it is not just indians who play cricket. You sound quite jealous of the saffers. They have dropped the ball at times but then so have india and even Aus with their great players. Your lack of knowledge about SA cricket is obvious. Look at SA's record over the last 4 years. Away series wins against all the major teams except india who couldn't beat SA either, even when Kallis was out of form. That is not a two man team. Lets see how india go when they no longer have dravid, sachin and laxman. Will be almost as hard as replacing Kallis.

  • stormy16 on January 6, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    Boucher played a typical Boucher innings which we know he is capably of and needed it to keep the hopefulls at bay but there are issues here and its got nothing to with Sharmas bowling or Dhonis captaincy!! The first is who are the hopefulls and you rattle off a list of chaps (Kuhn, van Wyk ETC - AB? dont even go there) which is a key issue - there is no obvious replacement and the wickey is such a critical and specialist job the replacement must be obvious to warrant to a change or teams tend to stick with the known devil. The next issue is Bouches is begining to make a few mistakes in the last few tests which is noticable for his lofty standards. Also yes Bouchers batting is not on par with Dhoni, Haddin or Prior who all average in the 40's but SA are able to carry that thanks to the awesome batting of the top 6 but looking ahead I think Bouchers tests are numbered and SA need to find a replacement and its an opportunity that comes along once in 10 years for the hopefulls.

  • Mitcher on January 6, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    @gerardpereira20: Now I've heard it all, an Indian fan accusing another team of being flat track bullies. Pot. Kettle. Black. As for whining about the toss and injuries . . . Welcome to Test cricket buddy.

  • TheOldBat on January 6, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Nice to see that someone has looked at what Mark has actually done this past year+. The one thing not mentioned re his 20 in the series so far is that he did not bat in the first test and was the last man standing in the first innings of the second having run out of partners. He also got the worst of a run of bad decisions in the second innings. Mark must have seriously got "up the nose" of some of our local media because they NEVER give him a break. Nobody mentions that in the Second test he equalled his match record of 9 dismissals. All the media axe men want is to move him out - NOT really because they can prove he has done a bad job - but because they want to tweak the side to bring in someone else that they want in a different position. It is always that nebulous "public" who want to get rid of him, but believe me the vast majority of SA "Public" suck up their opinions from the appallingly inaccurate ones expressed by commentators.

  • Dr.AlexKuruvila on January 6, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    I totally agree with some of the comments here that Boucher should thank Dhoni for his half century in the innings. It was captaincy at its worst on the part of Dhoni for relieving the grip India had on the game when SA was reeling at 130 for 6 as Boucher walked in. Allowing him to settle down by having our "pacemen" dish out gentle halfvolleys to him allowed Kallis and Boucher to take that partnership to over 100! In fact, if we had more of an attacking field,there would have been a forward short leg in addition to the short leg when Bhajji eventually came in to bowl, and Boucher would have been out caught easily in Bhajji's first over itself. But its all could've, would've, should've etc etc. I am terribly disappointed that India dropped from a winning position to a possible losing position in a matter of one session (most likely scenario as I write this note) by some most unimaginative Indian bowling and captaincy. Kudos however to Kallis, Boucher and the SA team!

  • senganal on January 6, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Boutcher is perhaps the greatest wicket keeper batsmaen after Ghilcrist.. His temperment stood up when the team was in crises and when the team really needed him to perform. His performance proved his worth. The other fact is Indian bowlers dint bowl badly but the kallis-boutcher partnership made them bowl the wrong line.. well done BOUCHIE Hats up to you....

  • on January 6, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    A lot of SA fans were wondering if this was going to be Boucher's last Test. Well this innings should end the debate.A wearing wicket, SA under great pressure; this could not have been a better situation for Boucher to rediscover his touch.He once again showed why he is regarded as SA's go-to-man in a crisis. Granted, Dhoni set defensive fields and the Indian bowlers' over-reliance on Zaheer came back to haunt them; but all that should take nothing away from Boucher.

  • Joji_ on January 6, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    @DonkieHoed: Even though your nick is kinda funny.. I must say .. Well said mate ... Very Well Said!!!

  • pr3m on January 5, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    Are you guys serious? This doesn't even warrant mention as Boucher's victory, as it does the Indian bowler's failure. Most of the boundaries that he got, at the beginning of his innings nonetheless, were balls straying down the leg side. It was the Indian fast bowling that got carried away and gifted him all the momentum. Any decent pace attack, in form, would have got up around his ears, and kept the ball on or about off, like Aussies will probably do, and that will be the final nail.

  • gerardpereira20 on January 5, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    DonkieHoed, The way Ishant bowled today even I could have got a fifty and yes the toss had a bearing on the outcome of the first match not to mention the fact that India were without their strike bowler Zaheer who is usually lethal in such conditions. In similar circumstances had South Africa lost the toss at Centurion and gone into the match without Steyn their chances of winning would have been nil. South Africa are a two man team Kallis and Steyn the rest including AB are either flat track bullies or journeymen cricketers.

  • knowledge_eater on January 5, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Boucher's partnership with Kallis stole match from India. But, I agree with gerardpereira20, I wouldn't use the word gifted, because he still had to go out there and get those runs. Anyway, Boucher performed in crunch situation again, let's also not forget he is very good team-mate and friend with Kallis, I would say there was no-one else who can give more comfort to Kallis at another end other than Boucher himself. Legend, he holds record for highest wicket-keeping catches as well. Man, WHY AGAISNST MY TEAM WHY!!! ARGHHHH

  • DonkieHoed on January 5, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    @ gerardpereira20, I see yet again, where India is involved, noone can actually do anything. It's either the toss made them lose, or Dhoni messed up. Any chance that you could accede that Boucher did well to score a fifty? Anything?

  • Andigee on January 5, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    Well written. Cricket as a sport has the time to dissect the character of a man. You've captured the heart of Boucher's fight well.

  • jupiterlaw on January 5, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    If India were at home, I would back them to make 341 but as they are away from home, I have some doube; but I hope they do it.

  • daager on January 5, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Boucher has been a great player for us, but I also had my doubts lately. Its partly not his fault, the reason he doesnt score centuries much these days is as much due to the fact that he no longer bats with an allrounder tail of Pollock, Klusener or Boje, as his patchy form. He showed true character today, and I have nothing but respect for him and Kallis. I hope he gets to retire on his own terms as a true legend of South African cricket.

  • gerardpereira20 on January 5, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    Boucher was gifted by Dhoni's poor captaincy. At the fall of Princes wicket Dhoni should have brought back Bajji ar Zaheer instead Dhoni persisted with Ishant who bowled too many loose balls and got Boucher on his way. l

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  • gerardpereira20 on January 5, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    Boucher was gifted by Dhoni's poor captaincy. At the fall of Princes wicket Dhoni should have brought back Bajji ar Zaheer instead Dhoni persisted with Ishant who bowled too many loose balls and got Boucher on his way. l

  • daager on January 5, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Boucher has been a great player for us, but I also had my doubts lately. Its partly not his fault, the reason he doesnt score centuries much these days is as much due to the fact that he no longer bats with an allrounder tail of Pollock, Klusener or Boje, as his patchy form. He showed true character today, and I have nothing but respect for him and Kallis. I hope he gets to retire on his own terms as a true legend of South African cricket.

  • jupiterlaw on January 5, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    If India were at home, I would back them to make 341 but as they are away from home, I have some doube; but I hope they do it.

  • Andigee on January 5, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    Well written. Cricket as a sport has the time to dissect the character of a man. You've captured the heart of Boucher's fight well.

  • DonkieHoed on January 5, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    @ gerardpereira20, I see yet again, where India is involved, noone can actually do anything. It's either the toss made them lose, or Dhoni messed up. Any chance that you could accede that Boucher did well to score a fifty? Anything?

  • knowledge_eater on January 5, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Boucher's partnership with Kallis stole match from India. But, I agree with gerardpereira20, I wouldn't use the word gifted, because he still had to go out there and get those runs. Anyway, Boucher performed in crunch situation again, let's also not forget he is very good team-mate and friend with Kallis, I would say there was no-one else who can give more comfort to Kallis at another end other than Boucher himself. Legend, he holds record for highest wicket-keeping catches as well. Man, WHY AGAISNST MY TEAM WHY!!! ARGHHHH

  • gerardpereira20 on January 5, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    DonkieHoed, The way Ishant bowled today even I could have got a fifty and yes the toss had a bearing on the outcome of the first match not to mention the fact that India were without their strike bowler Zaheer who is usually lethal in such conditions. In similar circumstances had South Africa lost the toss at Centurion and gone into the match without Steyn their chances of winning would have been nil. South Africa are a two man team Kallis and Steyn the rest including AB are either flat track bullies or journeymen cricketers.

  • pr3m on January 5, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    Are you guys serious? This doesn't even warrant mention as Boucher's victory, as it does the Indian bowler's failure. Most of the boundaries that he got, at the beginning of his innings nonetheless, were balls straying down the leg side. It was the Indian fast bowling that got carried away and gifted him all the momentum. Any decent pace attack, in form, would have got up around his ears, and kept the ball on or about off, like Aussies will probably do, and that will be the final nail.

  • Joji_ on January 6, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    @DonkieHoed: Even though your nick is kinda funny.. I must say .. Well said mate ... Very Well Said!!!

  • on January 6, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    A lot of SA fans were wondering if this was going to be Boucher's last Test. Well this innings should end the debate.A wearing wicket, SA under great pressure; this could not have been a better situation for Boucher to rediscover his touch.He once again showed why he is regarded as SA's go-to-man in a crisis. Granted, Dhoni set defensive fields and the Indian bowlers' over-reliance on Zaheer came back to haunt them; but all that should take nothing away from Boucher.