‘No magic wand’ to fix this poor SA side

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - LUN­GANI ZAMA

RUS­SELL Domingo wears a smile on most days, which makes his mood con­sid­er­ably dif­fi­cult to read.

So, as he gave his thoughts on his side’s ejec­tion from the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy, Domingo wore that smile through the pain.

Asked if he had con­sid­ered his own po­si­tion or re-ap­plied for the job, the an­swer came with a smile: “No, not yet.”

Probed on whether he could com­mit him­self to get­ting to the 2019 World Cup, the smile per­sisted. “I can’t say.”

It’s a time for an­swers, and very few are forth­com­ing.

Domingo did open up about some mat­ters though, such as the state of a dress­ing-room.

“I wasn’t there in the 2011 World Cup, but there might have been play­ers who were there go­ing, ‘here we go again’ type of thing,” he said of the AB de Vil­liers mo­ment.

“Look, he’s the best player in the world and the game was set up for him in that sit­u­a­tion. There’s no doubt that does de­flate the change-room a lit­tle bit.”

Much like his cap­tain, the coach (for now, it seems) is con­vinced th­ese men are not too far away from be­ing the fin­ished ar­ti­cle.

“We’ve had two bad games here. We played av­er­agely against Pak­istan, re­ally badly (against In­dia), but it doesn’t make the side a bad side,” he said.

“There are al­ways go­ing to be ques­tions asked un­til the side wins an event, wins th­ese knock­out games, wins th­ese big games, and rightly so. But there’s no magic wand.

“Guys just need to make the best de­ci­sions on the day and do what they’ve done prior to those par­tic­u­lar games. We haven’t done that (on Sun­day). We’ve played great cricket over the last year and to­day was prob­a­bly our worst game. We didn’t do the ba­sics right.

“A lot of things have been tried, a lot of things have been dis­cussed. A lot of peo­ple have been in­volved and un­for­tu­nately the re­sults at the mo­ment are still the same. You keep try­ing, that’s the bot­tom line. You can’t give up.”

No one ex­pects the high­est ranked team in the world (for now, at least) to give up, be­cause this is their job. It’s their job to strive to be the best, yet one can’t help but sense that they keep driv­ing up an au­to­bahn in a trac­tor.

Domingo has to take a share of the blame, yet he wears the look (and smile) of a man who looks ready to walk away.

“I don’t know,” he smiled when asked what has to be done.

“Play­ers need to go away and think about it for a cou­ple of days. It’s never good to make de­ci­sions when emo­tions are high, so once things have calmed down, I sup­pose peo­ple need to sit down and think of a way for­ward once again,” he said of the fu­ture.

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