Boucher's Class Consciousness

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Gibson

Mark Boucher is backing South African openers Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs to put their unhappy start to the NatWest Series behind them.

Skipper Smith reached 1,000 runs in limited overs cricket for his country in just 28 innings during last weekend's match with Zimbabwe at Canterbury, while Gibbs has 12 one-day centuries under his belt.

That is in stark contrast to their current form against England and Zimbabwe which has yielded just 55 runs between them in six innings, while Jacques Kallis has dominated with scores of 107, 125 not out and 82 not out.

But vice-captain Boucher, preparing for today's encounter with Zimbabwe at Cardiff, has no doubts the duo will start producing their best form sooner rather than later.

Boucher said: 'Herschelle has played enough cricket to realise you are not always going to be at the top especially as an opener when you have to face the new ball.

'But they are a good partnership. Herschelle was unlucky to be run out against England. That is the type of thing that happens when you go through a bit of a bad patch. You get bowled by a good delivery; you have stupid ways of getting out when you are in bad form. But Herschelle and Graeme are both very good players and good players don't fail too often.

'They are due big scores and I have no doubt that they are going to produce the goods.'

Boucher believes Kallis is in some of the best form of his career, despite learning of his father Henry being diagnosed with cancer. …