South Africa in West Indies 2010 May 19, 2010

Boucher dropped, de Villiers to keep

Cricinfo staff

AB de Villiers will keep wicket for South Africa during the limited-overs leg of their tour of West Indies instead of Mark Boucher, whose place in the team is now uncertain. Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, said the new selection panel led by Andrew Hudson was trying out new ideas ahead of the 2011 World Cup, and having de Villiers keep gave him more options.

"AB will be starting with the gloves in the limited-overs matches," Smith said ahead of the first Twenty20 international in Antigua. "There is a new selection committee and a few new ideas. We only have something like 15 ODIs before we get to India for the World Cup, so we have to make every one of them count."

Boucher, 33, has been a near permanent fixture in South Africa's XI across formats since he made his debut in 1997 and has played 131 Tests, 291 ODIs and 25 Twenty20s. Smith said the absence of Boucher's experience in the line-up would have to be made up by the rest of the players.

"When a guy [like Boucher] has played over 300 ODIs you are always going to miss that experience. He has been a talisman of the side for a long period of time now. He has been part of a core group of senior players who have performed regularly," Smith said. "The selectors have taken the decision now to look ahead at some new options, and certainly having AB keep allows you one or two extra options in the line-up. Andrew Hudson has arrived here today and we will sit down together and select the team for the game."

Smith also reflected on a "disappointing" World Twenty20 campaign - South Africa exited in the Super Eights - and said they would be "trying a few new things" to "examine the structure" of the team in Twenty20 and one-day internationals.

"The team has taken a lot of flak back home and rightly so. We have got to take responsibility for that," Smith said. "The team has really worked hard in the last few days we have had here in Antigua, and it is up to the team to perform well here and regain face with the public back home. We have got a few new players who have arrived here and they will provide fresh impetus and momentum. Confidence is an important thing and we need to start the West Indies tour strongly."

South Africa play back-to-back Twenty20 internationals against West Indies on May 19 and 20 before the five-ODI series begins on May 22.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashok on May 23, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    SA Team has chosen a Bad Idea of Dropping Mark Boucher, He is one of the Greatest keeper in all sort of Cricket. New Faces is Ok, But Experience is Needed in pressure Games. But Smith is Not a Experienced Person to take discussions like other experienced ppls in his Side. Now SA is now going to kill the batting skills of AB,.. I think it is better for Smith to give the captaincy and to concentrate in his Batting. Boucher is having his Batting @ 7th down. wht abt top orders and Bowlers has done in T20. If anything problem in his Keeping Skills, it is right to make the Boucher Out... Like Indian Team, they will suffer after some time without having experienced ppls .

  • hunter on May 23, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    I m 100% support riskaro,He is right that no team wants to lose a fighter of a cricket game,Boucher is a fighter, he still can delivered more, The best captain produce ever in cricket H.Cronje does the this so many time with his existing player and result cricket found player like klusener,boje . Rotate the ideas to create new thing for team,utilize the minimun asset to get 100% of them. i also support that new player should be get chance in team, Now ICC give us a great chance to set player for 3 different module of cricket test,ODI and T20.. so they can be enter to Int. easily..,However New player like Rossouw,Ingam,DA Miller,S van Zly, D. Hendrick ,Elgar should be start with T20 and ODI format along with the existing player like kallis,smith ,Ab can guide them to cope up with the team strongly.

  • Venkata on May 22, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    selectors have decided to drop boucher. ok thats fine but remember he is the one who won many games for sa in the past. mark boucher to open the batting with smith in limited overs (t20, odi) could be a good option if devilliers does not like to keep wkts. boucher was used as a pinch hitter by cronje. now boucher is a better option than gibbs to open batting and smith's role as captain have to be reviewed in t20s. botha or parnell could captain the t20 side. my team for 2011 world cup will be smith(c), boucher, kallis, devilliers, duminy, miller, botha, parnell, vander merwe, m.morkel and steyn.

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    Great player in the world.

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Guys, look,I have read all the comments here and many are seeing it as if AB is a part time keeper! He is fact when he made his debut against England some years back, he it as a keeper batting at 7, replacing Thami Tsolekile. This is a tough choice but one that had to be made. In the long run, this opens up a place for Miller or Ingram, and they too are very good fielders on the off side who can save runs like AB as well. Also, I really think Albie needs to be dropped. I mean, he adds NOTHING in the bowling department and is a hit or miss batsman. Also, SA should stick to Botha as the main spinner and use Duminy to make up some overs. Van der Merwe is not THAT better than JP as a spinner and also, having Botha as the only main spinner means that Steyn, M. Morkel and Parnell, who is a also a decent batsman, can also play in the same side. Heres my lineup- Smith,Amla,Kallis,AB,Ingram,Miller,JP,Botha,Parnell,Steyn,M.Morkel. The best right now.Period. Tell me if i am wrong.

  • Pierre on May 20, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    What has Smith done to warrant his position, never mind retain the captaincy? Under Smiths 'rule', the ethos of " first..." has prevailed at the expense of the individual. We no longer have any characters in this team, guys with guts, and now they remove one of the last (if not 'the' last) character in this team. AB is not going to enjoy this change (however he'll cope). Keepers are weird beings. Truly. They urinate in their mitts, they do strange things to small animals. They are born; not made. Now the 'masters of the universe' want to take a man, who is trying to be the best 'batsman/fielder' he can be, put the mitts on him, and stick him behind the stumps. Go figure. Makes me wonder if the '''ex''' players should be allowed anywhere near this team. More sense has been spoken in this blog than all the 'noise' we are having spewed at us. Anyway, lets wish them well!

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    I really think team are taking too much out of the result from these T20 world cups. The result of every game is as close as you will get to a lattery in cricket. I agree that SA need new blood, but dropping just Boucher, with all his experience, does very little for their prospects. Seems more like a knee jerk reaction to a bad result.

  • james on May 19, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Some of the people who comment here could really do with some English lessons...

  • ABHINAV on May 19, 2010, 23:02 GMT

    Asking AB to keep wickets might be a good thing for a shorter time... but in the longer run it will ruin his batting...i dunno why nobody is asking for a change in seems smith has taken his place for granted..( self assertive like michael clarke) its better that they bring in a lot of fresh faces who are allrounders-selectors of S.A plz stop more good cricketers migrating to England to play cricket..if u had thought wisely, kp n kieswetter would have been playing for s.a-dropping A.morkel is a bad choice-i dunno y they had chosen juan theron if he is not allowed to play a single seems u r following the methods of indian cricket management (they select a player when he is at the form of his life-make him sit on the bench for most of the time n then draft him into the squad in a crunch match n the poor fella wont perform as expected- so the result is he is dropped bcos of poor performance)drop smith to make him realise tat his place is not for granted

  • ANAND on May 19, 2010, 22:59 GMT

    South Africa will lose a brilliant fielder like DeVilliers if he keeps.

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