South Africa: Nkwe - 'Bigger Picture' More Important Than Results for Proteas

26 February 2020

Cape Town — When the Proteas take on Australia in the third and final T20 at Newlands on Wednesday, they will look to win their first series under the new leadership of head coach Mark Boucher and director of cricket (DOC) Graeme Smith.

That pair took over the reins ahead of the December/January Test series against England, which South Africa lost 3-1 on home soil. The Proteas then drew the ODI series against England 1-1 before going down 2-1 in the three-match T20 series against the same opposition.

Quinton de Kock, meanwhile, has led the side in all that white ball cricket since the Test series, and he too is hunting his first series win as skipper.

Boucher and Smith do, of course, have some leeway given that their arrivals were incredibly hasty and that they came into a Cricket South Africa (CSA) system that was effectively broken under the leadership of suspended CEO Thabang Moroe.

When Smith was named DOC in December, there was no full-time staff in charge of the Proteas aside from Enoch Nkwe, who was serving as the acting team director having taken the side to India in August and September.

Since then, Boucher has looked to instil a renewed fighting spirit into the Proteas during what has been a clear period of renewal. There have been some undeniably encouraging signs along the way, with the Proteas having put up some heroic performances in limited overs cricket.

In elite sport, however, results will always matter, and South Africa could desperately do with getting one over the Aussies at Newlands with the series currently tied at 1-1.

That is at least how it seems from the outside, looking in, but assistant coach Nkwe revealed on Tuesday that there were more important issues at play than results.

"Every game that we play, we want to win," Nkwe told media at Newlands.

"We also understand that in this process it's important that we try and master the fundamentals and get the right type of formula. We need to give the players an opportunity to understand exactly what formula is going to work for us.

"It is a professional sport and we want to win, but if we don't and we've played in the way we want to play, then for us that's a win because we're moving forward.

"With a couple of new guys coming into the squad, we have created a platform for them to try and find the right formula as quickly as possible."

The obvious priority for 2020 is the T20 World Cup in Australia in October.

"It's ideal to win the series, but I think the big picture is more important so that we form something special together as a unit, understand each other's games and what makes each other tick and what doesn't," Nkwe added.

"It could have happened that we won against England and then beat Australia, and then what?

"This gives us an opportunity to look at certain areas we could have overlooked if we were winning. We're making sure we're breaking it down to the most detail."

Play on Wednesday starts at 18:00.

Source: Sport24

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