England series to be used to repair the Proteas’ dents
The Proteas’ ultimately disastrous tour to India was an excellent lesson for South Africa’s batsmen, but there are still more questions than answers about the team on the eve of the series against England, admits Proteas coach Russell Domingo.
He made no bones about it this week after his team was trounced 3-0 in the test series against India.
“There is a lot of work to do with the test side,” Domingo admitted. “Let’s not be naive about that. There are a lot of spots people have questions about.”
National selectors will be hoping to answer many teasing questions with the group that has been selected for the first two tests in the four-match series against England.
Stiaan van Zyl has retained his place as opening batsman, despite the fact that he could only make 56 runs in five innings.
Wicketkeeper Dane Vilas, who could only make 60 runs in seven innings and also struggled behind the stumps, has, however, been summarily dismissed – with AB de Villiers handed the gloves against the English.
The rest of the Proteas batsmen also endured a nightmare series – only De Villiers could pass 50.
Domingo said: “As far as I’m concerned, India was a very tough tour for any batter to go on. We’ve got quality in our batting line-up that wasn’t able to showcase their skills under those conditions against those bowlers, but that doesn’t make them bad players. Those conditions were really extreme, as it shows with the stats of the Indian batters as well.”
Domingo also grumbled about the absence of Mike Hussey as the Proteas’ batting consultant during the Indian series.
The former Australian superstar, who joined the South Africans for the first time during this year’s World Cup tournament, was part of the camp for a week shortly before the test series, but then had to return down under.
City Press’ sister paper, Rapport, understands that Cricket Australia is upset about his continued involvement with the Proteas – since the controlling body also uses Hussey as an ambassador.
“We would have loved to have him for longer, but he had some other commitments. So he wasn’t able to stay through the series – but he did add a lot of value prior to the series,” said the coach.
CAPABLE AB de Villiers
bats during the fourth and final test match against India in New Delhi, India, last week
OPTIMISTIC Proteas coach Russel Domingo