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Cricket | South Africa

Dale Steyn (L) and David Warner © Getty Images

'Warner should focus on own technique'

Mark Boucher, the Proteas' former wicketkeeper, is taking David Warner of Australia's comments about South Africa being 'ripe for the picking' with a pinch of salt.

“David will have his hands full to handle Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander. He should rather get his technique right,” was Boucher’s message to the Australian opening batsman after his remarks during the week.

Warner, who completed two of the ten centuries achieved by the Australians during their 5-0 clean sweep against England in the Ashes series, said in an interview after the triumphant fifth test in Sydney that South Africa is now ripe for the picking.

He added South Africa is on the back foot and vulnerable in the absence of the legendary Jacques Kallis, who retired after 166 tests in which he scored 13 289 runs and contributed 45 centuries.

Probed about Warner’s comments, Boucher said: “Warner should rather stop talking and focus on getting his technique right for Steyn and Philander. If anyone is ripe for the picking, it is him.”

Boucher said the hype is understandable after Australia’s performance.

“They are on a bit of a high after that performance against a depleted England side,” he said.

“I don’t think South Africa want to be dragged into a war of words. The boys will be quietly confident and would want to do their talking on the field.”

Boucher said he also doesn’t believe that Australia has the best bowling attack in the world, as claimed by Peter Siddle.

“They have a very strong and classy attack,” said Boucher.

Mitchell Johnson captured 37 wickets during the Ashes series and was deservedly named man of the series. Ryan Harris took 22 wickets. The swing bowler was impressive during the 3-0 loss in England, where he claimed 24 scalps.

But Boucher pointed out that in order to be branded the number 1 bowling side in the world you need to have performed it in all conditions and over a long period of time, like the South African attack has done, not only in one series.

Philander and Steyn are the number-1 and the number-2 ranked bowlers on the rankings of the International Cricket Council and have had these elevated positions for a number of years because of their consistency of performances.

Harris is ranked third in the world and Johnson eighth.

Boucher also said Brad Haddin’s claim that Michael Clarke is the best batsman in the world could be questioned as AB de Villiers is number 1 on both the global test and ODI-ranking lists.

“It seems Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann have helped the team to play the Australian Way, which is exactly the way we play our cricket.

“It will be a tough series against two very good bowling attacks. Our boys are ready and keen to play against Australia,” Boucher added.


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