JOHANNESBURG - Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher have drawn on as much experience as possible for the South African squad to tap into ahead of next week’s first Test against England.
The preparation for the high-profile four-match Test series that starts at SuperSport Park on Boxing Day, has been haphazard through no fault of Smith or Boucher. But they are seeking to make the best of a very bad situation and given there is so little time to prepare the team, roping in former players Jacques Kallis and Charl Langeveldt seems like a logical step.
Langeveldt, who played 87 international matches including six Tests, will be the bowling coach after cutting short his contract with the Bangladesh team where he was performing the same role. Kallis, who played more than 500 international matches, will come on board for the remainder of the season as the batting consultant.
Throw in Boucher’s more than 400 internationals and that represents a lot of experience for the Proteas to call upon as they seek to turn around their fortunes. Even the six uncapped players in the squad are not complete greenhorns, and each has a decade’s worth of first-class experience to call on. That is a key part in understanding what Smith, as interim director of cricket and Boucher has head coach of the national side are trying to do.
The Proteas started a training camp in Centurion yesterday, with the players needing to form bonds with the new head coach.