Mark Boucher: South Africa has a ‘good headache’ ahead of the T20 World Cup selections

The Tourists beat hosts Gus Butler 2-1 in a three-game T20 series before sending Ireland in two short games in Bristol.

The competition for places leading up to the T20 World Cup, which kicks off in Australia in October, is particularly fierce in the batting division.

Opening Risa Hendricks was at a record high with four consecutive half-centurys in the absence of injured captain Tempa Pavuma.

Rilee Rossouw has made an impressive return to international cricket after nearly six years in the wild while Tristan Stubbs has shown himself to be a solid batsman in the middle rankings.

Aiden Markram is arguably South Africa’s best T20 player at the moment and David Miller, who spearheaded the squad in Pafuma’s absence, is the most experienced member of the squad.

Boucher spoke after their 44-round win over Ireland on Friday, and admitted there will be a few players struggling when the final selection for the tournament is made.

Proteas’ mentor said: “There is a lot of competition in the team at the moment and in a few positions as well.

“We’ve given the players some chances to see what they can do, and they’ve come up well, which is great for us to see.

“I like the players playing the cricket we want to see and that’s exciting. It’s not splinter cricket, it’s smart cricket, and our skill levels have gone up. It can only be good for our team if the players are challenging each other for spots.

“It’s a good headache to have when there are so many players vying for places as the World Cup approaches.

“I don’t want to give away too much. This is a strategy I don’t want to give up. I’m part of a selection committee, and we have some tough choices to make.”

“I’m sure we will. There are a lot of players competing, and unfortunately, we can only take 15 players into the World Cup.”

Boucher was particularly pleased with Hendrix, who has shown impressive consistency after being on the sidelines for the past few years.

The 32-year-old right-handed hitter scored 57 (33), 53 (32), 70 (50), 74 (53) and 42 (40) over the two series.

Boucher added: “Reza has been really good in this round. We always knew that Reda could play, and he was a great player.

“I think that’s how he handled a touch of a different mindset and being a little bit more aggressive that really stood out.

“He’s a good player and he’s been hungry. Four games in the fifties in a row doing something special in T20 cricket. I’m not sure how many people have done that.”

Boucher and Proteas will now turn their attention to the longer form of the game as they begin preparations for a three-match Test series against England which begins at Lords on 17 August.

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