Mark Boucher said missed opportunities cost South Africa as they suffered a two-wicket defeat to England in the third and final ODI in Johannesburg.

Despite a late wobble with the bat, England claimed victory with 40 balls unused on Sunday to ensure the three-match series finished level at 1-1, the second game in Durban having been washed out.

Boucher felt his team were "30 to 40 runs short" when making 256-7 with the bat, while they then made an abysmal start with the ball as Jonny Bairstow (43 off 23 balls) got stuck into Lungi Ngidi and Beuran Hendricks.

Although South Africa fought back, dropped chances from Joe Denly and Tom Banton hindered their hopes of turning things around.

"We were probably 30 or 40 runs short and then, with the ball, we just started off really, really poorly and we were playing catch-up after that," said Boucher in a news conference.

"We had chances and we didn't take our opportunities. When you are 30 to 40 runs short, you have got to bowl well, especially up front, and you've got to take your opportunities.

"We didn't do that. That's why we lost."

South Africa and England both rested frontline players for the ODI series, and Boucher indicated the Proteas would continue to experiment in their next 50-over matches against Australia.

"It's a long time until the next [50-over] World Cup, so we can afford to do that," he added.

"There are a lot of good things that happened and a couple of things we need to work on, obviously, but it is quite difficult to judge over two games.

"We'll probably use the next three games against Australia to find out some answers and ask some questions. We do believe we're going in the right direction."

Former skipper Faf du Plessis is likely to return against Australia, though, after being rested and replaced as captain by Quinton de Kock for the ODI and T20 series with England.

"We feel at this point in time he [Du Plessis] needs a bit of a break away from the game," Boucher explained.

"I would like to think, against Australia, the rest will be enough and they [Du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada] can come back and play."

Mark Boucher warned South Africa must "man up" after they were "outskilled" by England on day four of the third Test at St George's Park.

England captain Joe Root took 4-31 in Port Elizabeth after Mark Wood struck twice to ensure England require just four wickets on the final day to take a 2-1 lead with one match to play.

The Proteas were all out for only 209 after losing their last four first-innings wickets for only one run early on the penultimate day and they were in deep trouble on 102-6 - trailing by 188 runs - following on at stumps.

South Africa head coach Boucher offered a frank assessment of his side's shortcomings following a painful rain-affected day, which left them surely relying on the weather to save them on Monday.

"I think we were outskilled, to be honest," he told Sky Sports. "You can blame different things for the situation but I've got to look at myself and find a way to get the players up mentally and upskill them in a short space of time.

"I do think Joe Root was difficult to play at the end there. It's difficult to get down to the pitch of the ball - one slides on, one turns and it's like quicksand, the harder you try the deeper you sink.

"But we've created this situation for ourselves. No excuses - we've got to man up now and take this forward and learn from these lessons.

"When you're under the pump for a long time, every side has its breaking point and today we broke quite early, which is disappointing."

Faf du Plessis went 54 balls without scoring at one point before he was sent packing by part-time spinner Root for 36, but Boucher insisted it is not time to discuss his future as captain.

"That's not a call to make a this moment in time," Boucher said. "He's trying really hard and working really hard away from the game. 

"If he's not scoring runs there's that extra pressure. The best way to answer that is putting runs on the board.

"There's no hiding place in Test cricket. He's disappointed from a team perspective. He spent a bit of time in the middle, which is good for his confidence."

Mark Boucher warned South Africa must "man up" after they were "outskilled" by England on day four of the third Test at St George's Park.

England captain Joe Root took 4-31 in Port Elizabeth after Mark Wood struck twice to ensure England require just four wickets on the final day to take a 2-1 lead with one match to play.

The Proteas were all out for only 209 after losing their last four first-innings wickets for only one run early on the penultimate day and they were in deep trouble on 102-6 - trailing by 188 runs - following on at stumps.

South Africa head coach Boucher offered a frank assessment of his side's shortcomings following a painful rain-affected day, which left them surely relying on the weather to save them on Monday.

"I think we were outskilled, to be honest," he told Sky Sports. "You can blame different things for the situation but I've got to look at myself and find a way to get the players up mentally and upskill them in a short space of time.

"I do think Joe Root was difficult to play at the end there. It's difficult to get down to the pitch of the ball - one slides on, one turns and it's like quicksand, the harder you try the deeper you sink.

"But we've created this situation for ourselves. No excuses - we've got to man up now and take this forward and learn from these lessons.

"When you're under the pump for a long time, every side has its breaking point and today we broke quite early, which is disappointing."

Faf du Plessis went 54 balls without scoring at one point before he was sent packing by part-time spinner Root for 36, but Boucher insisted it is not time to discuss his future as captain.

"That's not a call to make a this moment in time," Boucher said. "He's trying really hard and working really hard away from the game. 

"If he's not scoring runs there's that extra pressure. The best way to answer that is putting runs on the board.

"There's no hiding place in Test cricket. He's disappointed from a team perspective. He spent a bit of time in the middle, which is good for his confidence."

Mark Boucher described losing Kagiso Rabada for the final Test against England as a "massive blow" and had mixed feelings over the suspension handed down to the South Africa quick.

Rabada will miss the last match of the series at The Wanderers after being sanctioned for his reaction to dismissing Joe Root on day one of the third Test at St George's Park.

The paceman roared in celebration after bowling the England captain and that resulted in him being found guilty of a level one breach of the ICC code of conduct.

It earned Rabada a fourth demerit point in a two-year period, a tally that triggers a one-match ban.

Boucher felt Rabada should have known better, but suggested the punishment was harsh after watching England take charge in Port Elizabeth by posting 499-9 declared before the Proteas were reduced to 60-2 in reply on Friday.

"I think KG has a bit of a history, he probably shouldn't have done it, but it is what it is," said the South Africa head coach.

"The level one is a slap on the wrists but unfortunately he's got too many demerit points. We played in days when bowlers used to swear at batsmen, you want to be nice and aggressive.

"He didn't look at Joe Root, but it's about how you determine the laws. KG is best when he's nice and aggressive. We'll get him to run to square leg rather than the batter. But the laws are there and you have to abide by them.

"I wasn't aware of all the demerit points [Rabada has] and how the whole system works, so to hear this morning he's going to be banned for the final Test is a massive blow for us.

"He's a world-class performer, especially at The Wanderers, where I think he would be very effective."

The former South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman added: "We spoke to the match referee [on Thursday] and we did voice our concerns over the rule and a couple of variations of the rule.

"It's a tough one to gauge about excessive celebrations in the area of the batter and making contact with the batter.

"I don't feel that he made any contact with the batter whatsoever. Yes, he was in his space, but the two put together there is probably different ways you can look at it. Bottom line is the match referee has made up his mind."

Jofra Archer was put under pressure by a South Africa team who will not be intimidated by him in Cape Town, according to Proteas coach Mark Boucher.

South Africa halted a five-game losing streak in Tests by beating England by 107 runs on the fourth afternoon in Centurion, with pacemen Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje taking seven of the nine remaining second-innings wickets on offer.

If those two made the most of conditions helpful to fast bowling, the same could not always be said for Archer.

The 24-year-old burst onto the Test scene during this year's Ashes series in England but struggled as Joe Root's men went down in New Zealand last month.

He took the solitary wicket of tailender Keshav Maharaj during South Africa's first innings, while a haul of 5-102 second time around cost a run a ball and was marred by a pair of attempted slow balls at nightwatchman Nortje on the second evening coming out as beamers.

"No, I wouldn't see him as England's greatest threat. He's got a spell in him that can ruffle a few feathers," Boucher said afterwards.

"We were in a position in the game to take him on a bit more. We were playing ahead of the game.

"We're in a position where we understand he's a wicket-taker, he's going to take wickets. But we're also not dartboards.

"I've always encouraged the batter to set up to score and, if there are opportunities to score, you've got to take that."

The second Test begins in Cape Town on January 3, and Boucher said of Archer: "He's under a bit of pressure as well because he was going for quite a few runs. He's a threat, yes, but they've also got quite a few other bowlers who are threats in that line-up.

"I'm pretty happy with the way that we played him. He bowled well in the second innings, bowled with some heat on an up-and-down wicket.

"You expect him to take wickets but I also thought that in moments of the game we put him under pressure as well, which helped us get a very good lead."

Sam Curran was the pick of England's attack during the first innings, while Archer's place should be safe for the second Test.

Should Root wish to select a specialist spinner from his illness-ravaged squad, it could mean either of James Anderson or Stuart Broad making way.

"They've got fantastic records behind them and have produced some fantastic things for England in the very recent past," Root told a post-game news conference.

"You don't want to wish those guys away, looking back and thinking you've forced Jimmy Anderson out. You look at him physically and he's a fantastic specimen. He's got a fantastic record in these conditions, as has Stuart.

"It's a fine balance, you've got to look at the surface and look at the attack that can best counter that and the opposition you come up against.

"If difficult decisions have to be made down the line, they will be. But if they don't, they won't.

"It'd be silly to push fantastic experience and a wealth of knowledge of fast bowling out of the door when there's no need to."

Faf du Plessis says there is no room for egos in a new South Africa leadership group as they prepare for the Test series against England.

Mark Boucher was appointed head coach last weekend and has wasted no time in assembling his staff.

Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt and Justin Ontong will assist the former Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman along with Enoch Nkwe.

Graeme Smith took charge as interim team director before bringing in Boucher, with Du Plessis remaining captain amid wholesale changes. 

The South Africa skipper believes he can have a good relationship with Boucher in a new era.

"It's important that you don't have guys with egos. That's the most important thing when it comes to leadership groups, especially if there's a few names thrown into the mix," said the batsman.

"For someone like Mark Boucher who has been coaching for the last three or four years with the Titans, seeing what it is like on the other side, because coaching and playing are two different roles, and you can see his development from a personality point of view.

"He also understands that it's give-and-take. He will come in sometimes and I'll pull away and vice versa and I think that only comes when you are mature enough to understand what a leadership group looks like and are secure in your own position.

"If you are insecure, then you are going to feel like you need to talk all the time because there is another big voice in the team but I don't feel like that at all."

South Africa have named six uncapped players for the first two Test matches against England, while Aiden Markram has been included.

Pacemen Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks, batsmen Pieter Malan and Rassie van der Dussen, all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius and wicketkeeper-batsman Rudi Second are all in line to make their Test debuts in Mark Boucher's first match as head coach.

Second is granted another chance after withdrawing from the team for the third Test against India in Ranchi, while Paterson, Van der Dussen, Hendricks and Pretorius have represented the Proteas in limited-overs cricket.

Markram has been included in the squad after pulling out of the Ranchi match due to a wrist injury, but Lungi Ngidi and Wiaan Mulder have not been passed fit.

The first Test gets underway in Centurion on Boxing Day, and the teams will reconvene at Newlands from January 3.

"The high number of uncapped players coming into the squad is a reflection of our policy to acknowledge players who do well at franchise level and have put their hands up for selection," said Cricket South Africa independent selector Linda Zondi.

"Van der Dussen, who is third on the current four-day batting averages, and Pretorius, who has established himself as the leading all-rounder, are clear examples of this.

"Following the same trend, Paterson has been the second-leading wicket-taker in four-day cricket this season, including a seven-wicket haul in an innings, and we want to go into the Test series will a full arsenal of fast bowlers who have always provided one of our traditional strengths.

"Beuran Hendricks is also part of this strategy and adds variety to the attack as a left-arm swing bowler.

"Malan has been one of the most consistent runs scorers in franchise cricket for many seasons now and, as a specialist opening batsman, he provides cover for Markram, while Second provides cover in the wicketkeeping department and is a top order batsman in his own right."

A further two Tests, for which a squad has not yet been named, will follow later in January.

 

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Pieter Malan, Aiden Markram, Zubayr Hamza, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second, Rassie van der Dussen.

New South Africa head coach Mark Boucher may try to convince AB de Villiers he should come out of international retirement.

Interim director of cricket Graeme Smith on Saturday revealed he appointed former wicketkeeper-batsman Boucher to "bring the toughness to turn a young and inexperienced Proteas squad into a battle-ready outfit".

Boucher has not ruled out turning to some older players with plenty of knowhow ahead of the T20 World Cup next year, including maverick 35-year-old batsman De Villiers.

"When you go to a World Cup, you want your best players playing for you," said Boucher, who will be assisted by Enoch Nkwe.

"If I feel he is one of your best players, why wouldn't I want to have a conversation with him? I've only just got into the job, I might have conversations with quite a few players and see where they are."

Boucher added: "You want your best players playing in the World Cup and if there's a couple of issues you need to iron out, with media, with team-mates, and if it's for the good of South Africa, why not, let's do it."

Boucher has no power over selecting players that moved overseas to take up Kolpak deals but would welcome being able to call upon them.

"If I can answer from a coach's perspective, absolutely. If you look at rugby, the way the Springboks won the World Cup, the experience they got from players playing overseas was invaluable." said the 43-year-old, who retired from playing in 2012 due to a serious eye injury.

"From a coach's perspective, I'd love to have the opportunity to deepen and strengthen the squad. It will keep everyone on their toes and will bring more excellence into the game in this country."

Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has been appointed as the head coach of the Proteas.

Boucher will be assisted by Enoch Nkwe, who stepped in as interim team director after the departure of Ottis Gibson following a disappointing Cricket World Cup campaign.

Titans head coach Boucher's appointment was confirmed on Saturday, just a few days after Graeme Smith was installed as Cricket South Africa's acting director of cricket.

Linda Zondi resumes as convener of the national selection panel, while unsurprisingly Faf du Plessis remains Test captain ahead of a four-match series with England on home soil.
 
Meanwhile, ex-Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince will take charge of South Africa A for the upcoming tour match against England.
 
Smith, who this week accepted the director of cricket role for an initial three-month period, believes his former team-mate Boucher's experience will be crucial for a young South Africa side.
 
"I have brought Boucher on board because I feel he will bring the toughness to turn a young and inexperienced Proteas squad into a battle-ready outfit. With his experience of a long career as an international cricketer he has first-hand experience of what it takes to succeed in the Test arena," commented Smith.
 
"I have the highest regard for Enoch as well and I want to create a clear path for him to grow into a top international coach.
 
"At the same time there is a clear need to maintain continuity and stability in the Proteas management team and we will be retaining the technical support staff along with Volvo Masubelele continuing as team manager and Justin Ontong as fielding coach.
 
"I will be appointing batting and bowling consultants, and these will be announced in the next couple of days."

The appointment of 43-year-old Boucher, who retired in 2012 due to an eye injury after playing 147 Tests and 295 one-dayers at international level, comes a week after Jacques Faul was named Cricket South Africa's acting chief executive, replacing the suspended Thabang Moroe.

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