Cape Town - Proteas coach Russell Domingo is positive yet
level-headed about his squad’s achievements at the halfway mark of the One-Day
International (ODI) series against India.
The Proteas lead the five-match series 2-1 and have the
opportunity of claiming their first ever bilateral series win in India with two
matches remaining in Chennai and Mumbai.
“If someone said to me before the tour that we would be 2-1
up in the ODI series with two to play, along with a T20 series win, we would
all have jumped at that,” he said in Chennai on Tuesday.
“I’m happy with the way we have started but there are still
22 days of cricket left, we have only played five. There is a long way to go
and we have to make sure that we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Domingo says losing JP Duminy is a ‘big loss’ to the squad,
but the coach is confident of finding a suitable replacement with the resources
on the bench.
Khaya Zondo and Chris Morris are both options, and Dean
Elgar - who arrives on Wednesday - is coming off scores of 86 and 57 for the Titans
in the Momentum One-Day Cup.
“JP is a world-class player and under these conditions he
fits the all-rounder role really well,” said Domingo.
“He is able to bowl a good number of overs, we have been
battling with that all-rounder spot, and under these conditions he is the
perfect guy there, he is a big loss for us. I will have to sit with the
selectors to find the best combination for us ahead of the fourth ODI on
“Dean is going to be joining the Test squad so it’s an
opportunity for him to acclimatise to the conditions,” he said of Elgar.
“Secondly he has done well domestically, he came here with South Africa ‘A’ and
did really well in India. He also offers us some left-arm spin which is
something we don’t have besides (Aaron) Phangiso who is competing with Imran
(Tahir). He is a mature cricketer, he averages nearly 40 in domestic one-day
cricket so he brings a lot of experience with him.”
Despite the high-scoring statistics across the venues, there
has only been one score above 300 to go with three centuries from Rohit Sharma,
AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock.
Domingo believes the heat has had a significant impact on
the performances of the batsmen, most recently De Kock, who suffered from
severe dehydration after his innings on Sunday.
“Everyone has got a bit of a start thus far,” he said of the
batsmen. “The conditions, the heat and wickets makes big run-scoring a little
bit harder than in other conditions. It’s important that if a batter does get a
start he kicks on.
“India could say the same, in the last chase Virat (Kohli)
got 70, nobody got the 100. The heat was stifling in the last venue so those
are all things we have to take into account when playing in these conditions.
It’s not easy for the bowlers and for the batsmen, who have to keep the
intensity going in the heat.”