Boucher, Elgar praise 'superstar' Marco Jansen: 'What a find we got'

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Marco Jansen (Gallo)
Marco Jansen (Gallo)
  • Coach Mark Boucher and skipper Dean Elgar praised the Proteas' new find with the introduction of 21-year-old Marco Jansen.
  • In his first Test series, Jansen starred with the ball as he took three consecutive four-wicket hauls in each Test - ending as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tour.
  • Elgar added that the left-arm all-rounder's career is on the up, with Jansen looking to continue his new superstar status.

Proteas coach Mark Boucher and captain Dean Elgar could not help but marvel at newcomer Marco Jansen after his sparkling debut Test tour against India.

The Warriors all-rounder Jansen made his first impression on the international stage when he was scooped up by the Mumbai Indians at the Indian Premier League last year.

The 21-year-old then had some fine showings in the 4-Day Franchise Series and then with South Africa 'A' against India 'A' in Bloemfontein.

Jansen was selected due to the recovering Duanne Olivier and made his Proteas debut in last month's first Test at Centurion, taking 1/69 and 4/55.

At the Wanderers, he helped steer South Africa to a series-levelling win as he captured 4/31 and 3/67 against India..

With all eyes on the left-armer, Jansen continued his impressive form in the deciding Test at Newlands and ended with 3/55 and his third-successive four-wicket haul (4/36).

South Africa went on to clinch the three-match Test series 2-1 with a clinical seven-wicket win over the world number one Test team in Cape Town.

Jansen, who became only the sixth South African left-arm seamer to play Test cricket since 1992, ended as the second-highest wicket-taker of the Test series with 19, only one wicket shy of leader Kagiso Rabada (20).

Following the Proteas triumph at Newlands, Boucher lauded Jansen's selection, claiming the Proteas have found a new superstar.

"A lot of people questioned his selection in the first Test. As coaches, we sit there and have conversations about certain players. We saw what he had in Pakistan and he was also with us in the West Indies," Boucher told reporters on Friday.

"It was just a matter of time before he came through. We can see the skill set that he's got and it's also a variation that is hard to find in cricket nowadays.

"He didn't start off too well, the media jumped on him a little bit, which I thought was quite unfair. After that first day, we and everyone look at him and say, 'What a find we got in another addition to our bowling attack'.

"At 21-years-old, he's still got a lot of cricket to learn. We seen great signs with the bat as we so found a superstar in him and at such a very young age," continued the former Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman.

"He is only going to get better and that bodes well for the Proteas team."

READ | Marco and KP: SA cricket welcomes its two bright new stars with open arms 

While his bowling done most of the talking, Jansen did not shy away from the competitive Indian side as he was caught in a few words with Jasprit Bumrah, forcing the umpire to intervene at the Wanderers.

Jansen's fiery side is most welcomed in an inexperienced Proteas side and one that skipper Elgar praised the left-arm paceman's attitude within the set-up.

"I must say, first Test series and it's against India can be a little daunting for a guy and he tends to operate in a little bit of a mature manner. He is only 21-years-old but I'd like to think, the way he conducts himself on the field," Elgar told reporters on Friday.

"The way he speaks and communicates with me is one of someone who has played quite a few Tests, which is a great attribute to have as a young player. He's also a great team man as he will always be around to have a laugh with the guys.

"I don't think he takes himself too seriously, which is also a nice tick in the box for him, but I would like to think Plankie will have a bright future for South Africa."

Elgar says that he can only see Jansen's budding career go up and hopes that he understands his new career trajectory. 

"With the attributes and strengths that he has, obviously being tall, and he can bowl 135 km/h and he can bowl a lot quicker than that as well, which is a huge strength for him," said Elgar.

"I think his bounce, presence and his intimidation he brings without saying a word is a massive strength for him.

"I see him going only one direction and that's up and hopefully, he understands that and respects what he has achieved throughout the Test series. His career has come along in a massive nature. He was brilliant for us."

Meanwhile, Jansen will remain in the Cape Town bubble as he looks to make his ODI debut in the three-match ODI series.

The first ODI is scheduled on Wednesday at Boland Park in Paarl (10:30).

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