JOHANNESBURG – Mark Boucher remains sceptical about the ploy proposed by Proteas captain Faf du Plessis to use David Miller as the national side’s back-up wicket-keeper at this year’s World Cup.
Earlier this season Boucher was roped in by the team to give Miller, what Ottis Gibson described, as a “crash course in the basics”, but Boucher believes Miller will not find keeping easy even if he has to do it for only part of an innings.
“It’s interesting,” Boucher said about the decision.
The ploy became public towards the end of the One-Day series against Sri Lanka, when Miller took over behind the stumps in the fifth ODI. He then kept wicket for the entirety of a T20 innings in Cape Town.
“I don’t think he had a bad game in the T20, I would like to have seen him keep in the super over because that’s the kind of pressure he will face in England,” said Boucher. “David’s a very good fielder. Can you change him overnight to become a wicketkeeper? No.”
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Most importantly, Boucher mentioned where the World Cup was taking place. “It will be difficult for him to keep in English conditions.”
During his career Boucher always stated that keeping in England was toughest because the ball moved late and appreciably once it went past the the stumps.
“Hopefully he doesn’t break a finger while he’s keeping, that would be a double whammy.”
“It’s not my baby to look after. Gibbo as coach and Faf as captain, if they are thinking that’s what they want to do then they must do that.”
Gibson has not entirely dismissed the idea of taking a back-up keeper to England, saying the topic was still open to discussion with the selectors. But given that his and Du Plessis’ favoured candidate for that spot, Heinrich Klaasen failed to make an impression when given chances in the past year, and that no other players were tried extensively, it does look increasingly likely that Miller will do the job should Quinton de Kock be temporarily sidelined.
“He’s not going to do it for 11 games, it might be a one off, but we are giving ourselves that option,” Gibson said.
Boucher would rather it didn’t happen. “Hopefully Quinny doesn’t get injured and we can see him play throughout the whole game and tournament,” he said.
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