Eng­land se­ries to be used to re­pair the Proteas’ dents

CityPress - - Sport - ED­UAN ROOS sports@city­press.co.za

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.

– Rap­port

PHOTO: AP PHOTO / TSER­ING TOP­GYAL

CA­PA­BLE AB de Vil­liers

bats dur­ing the fourth and fi­nal test match against In­dia in New Delhi, In­dia, last week

PHOTO: GALLO IM­AGES

OP­TI­MISTIC Proteas coach Rus­sel Domingo

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