Sun City - Former South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs has suggested the Proteas team appoint an Australian coach if they are to have any chance of success in future ICC events.
The Proteas lost unexpectedly to the Netherlands to crash out of the T20 World Cup group stage earlier this month. It was the end of Mark Boucher’s tenure as coach of the team, with Malibongwe Maketa appointed on an interim basis as South Africa take on hosts Australia in a three-Test series starting next month.
“There’s now coaching positions up for grabs. If we went with an Australian coach. They’re very confident, spontaneous, instinctive people. We need that sort of environment for our cricket to move forward,” said Gibbs at the Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational at Sun City on Friday.
“Having watched the T20 competition, I liked what I saw with the conditions, especially from a batting point of view. A lot of the average players get away with it when conditions are good, as they can hit through the line and there’s no turn.”
Gibbs was known during his playing days as a talented, innovative batsman that would take on any bowling attack in the world. With a Test batting average of a shade under 42 and over 8000 One-Day International (ODI) runs scored, Gibbs now follows the Proteas team closely, and is often left frustrated.
The 48-year-old noted that the way South Africa played in the T20 World Cup was predictable.
“It’s been disappointing. I thought we might have approached it differently and been pro-active. I don’t think anybody would look at the way we started. In the nine-over game against Zimbabwe, we still opened with our conventional openers ‒ Temba [Bavuma] and Quinny [Quinton de Kock]. That for me set the tone. I don’t see it in the media, they don’t write about it.
“We’ve just gone with what we know, and that is predictable. In order for us to one day win one of these things, we need to be more pro-active and think outside the box. We can’t have that sort of mentality if we’re going to win one of these days, whenever that might be. If we get to the final, we might just get over the line.
“Losing against the Netherlands, nobody expected that. It was sad to see.”
In comparison to England who went on to lift the trophy, South Africa were way behind in their development, believed Gibbs.
“We went into this World Cup as one of the favourites. If you look at England and their squad and the rest of the world. [South Africa] are very much behind man-for-man. England are light years ahead of any other team in T20 cricket.
“England then take that same mentality and skills to 50-over cricket. They have a lot of big name players that thrive on the biggest stages. That’s where we [SA] need to grow.”