Tue, 11 May 2021

  • Proteas coach Mark Boucher said Kyle Verreynne's omission from the T20 team is based on his role in the squad.
  • Boucher said Verreynne was picked as the reserve to stand-in captain Heinrich Klaasen, with Wihan Lubbe being the reserve number three batsman.
  • Boucher also refuted claims of provincial bias in team selections.

Proteas coach Mark Boucher has clarified the continued omission of Cape Cobras batsman/wicket-keeper Kyle Verreynne, saying that he's back-up for stand-in captain Heinrich Klaasen, who also keeps wicket.

Verreynne has had an excellent red-ball season with the Cobras and made an impressive 62 off 43 balls in the third ODI against Pakistan that South Africa lost last week.

His omission from the T20 squad has set tongues wagging.

Instead, Boucher has backed Wihan Lubbe, who played in the first two matches in Rassie van der Dussen's injury enforced absence.

"Kyle was selected as a back-up keeper to Heinrich Klaasen and if there was an issue with our top three, then Wihan Lubbe was going to take over, Boucher explained.

"We lost an opening batter, who we replaced with Aiden Markram. Our number three, being Rassie, was injured and he [Lubbe] came into that position.

"As selectors, we were in Johannesburg for two long days selecting teams and deciding who is back up to who. Lubbe was selected as the back-up to the number three and that's why he's been playing. I understand that Kyle has been playing well, but that is one-day cricket and T20 cricket is different."

While current form would demand that Verryenne should be given an opportunity in all formats in the same way that's been applied to Aiden Markram, it hasn't happened.

Boucher said the collective decision to install Lubbe as the back-up top-order batsman was made at the Betway T20 Challenge that took place in Durban in February.

"The computers and the stats were brought out and the decision was made collectively, and the guys felt Wihan was the guy we needed to give an opportunity in the top-order," Boucher said.

"Kyle is doing well but we've looked at a couple of facets of his game that he can really add so he can become a world class performer in all three formats. That's something we're working towards. The decision was made collectively."

Boucher refuted claims that his selections are mired in franchise bias. Klaasen, the stand-in captain who struggled during the ODI series, is from the Titans. The same applies for Markram while Lubbe plays for the Warriors.

"There isn't a bias. I want to win a game of cricket. First of all, we select and I am one of four selectors and we go about selecting a team from the guys who have been selected to try to win a game of cricket," Boucher said.

Source: News24

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