‘Proteas are a work-in-progress’ says coach Russell Domingo

 

Despite his team’s success in the on-going Test match series against New Zealand, Proteas head coach Russell Domingo remains steadfast in the belief that his squad remains a work-in-progress.

And although the visiting Proteas hold a crucial 1–0 lead going into the final match starting at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 25 March, the coaching staff has identified key areas to tweak to be able to maintain their unbeaten series record in New Zealand. While the bowling department looks primed to take on the challenge of performing on any surface after earning full marks following their efforts in Wellington, one area of concern for the coach, however, has been the batting form — which has been inconsistent throughout the series.

“All batting units at international level will always have one player that is struggling for form,” Domingo said. “That is okay [as] you can’t rely on one player. That is why it’s a batting unit, that is why it’s a team. The team has to try and help those players get out of those slumps.”

He added that every player goes through a slump. “We have two or three players who are feeling that pressure at the moment and that is a concern. It’s always easier to have one but if you have two or three who are searching for form and runs it does become a bit more challenging.”

The coach lauded Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, citing that they were all in good nick and that had undoubtedly bolstered the team’s cause.

Following an away Test series win against Australia and a 3–0 home Test series demolition of Sri Lanka in January, victory in this series will firmly place yet another feather in the caps of Domingo’s troops. Success this week will also be another step towards rebuilding the test team’s proud away record, broken by India in 2015 after a nine-year unbeaten run.

“We have lost one series away from home in the last 10 years,” Domingo said. “The one in India was the one we lost. The side takes a lot of pride in how well we travel. They [players] enjoy each other’s company [and] enjoy seeing new countries. That is one of the main ingredients for why we travel well and play good cricket, the guys enjoy being together.

“It’s a massive feat for this side to come here being 1–0 up with one to play. We know it’s not done yet, New Zealand are a quality side and we are going to have to be at our best to beat them.”

Meanwhile, De Kock was taken in for scans on Wednesday after injuring his right index finger during the second Test in Wellington, the details of which will be made available as soon as possible.

Read: Proteas look to take the initiative against New Zealand in second Test at Basin Reserve

Are you backing South Africa for a series win in New Zealand? Let us know with the hashtag #ProteaFire on @City_Buzz_ on twitter.

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Proteas look to take the initiative against New Zealand in second Test at Basin Reserve