Domingo seeks consistency
Russell Domingo (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Despite their dismal performance in the semi-finals of last month’s ICC Champions Trophy in England, the Proteas' limited overs squad for the upcoming tour to Sri Lanka held no surprises.
Consistency in the squad was key for the team’s build-up towards the next world cup, Proteas' head coach Russell Domingo said in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"It was nice to get into a selection meeting and talk about different combinations and options," said Domingo, who recently took over from Gary Kirsten.
"A lot of discussions took place, but I can’t canvass too many different opinions as I have to make up my own mind.
"I want to try and get consistency in one day cricket and stick to about 18 players, so they can get about 25 games bowling and batting at a certain position, and get that culture going like we have in the Test team."
He said the team was "hurting badly" after their performance against England in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy at the Oval last month.
"England are ranked higher than us in one-day cricket and they were playing far better cricket in the tournament leading up to that semi-final.
"So, for us to rock up and think we could win it would have been arrogant, but if we weren’t hurting afterwards, then our hearts wouldn’t have been in the right place."
Domingo said the tournament, and their poor showing in the semi-final, had emphasised the importance of a good opening partnership.
The inclusion of Alviro Petersen in the squad for Sri Lanka, and the recall of Quinton de Kock, gave them more flexibility with the batting.
"We needed a solid foundation, so having the options of Quinton and Alviro is great in terms of balance and getting good starts."
Domingo said criticism levelled at the team for not opening the batting at the Champions Trophy with Alviro Petersen -- a last minute replacement for the injured Graeme Smith -- was unjustified.
"Alviro came in as a late replacement while David Miller was in the form of his life.
"Also, Colin Ingram had been playing well and made 80-odd runs in the warm-up game," Domingo said.
"So, it will always be difficult for the guy who hasn’t played for over a year in the one-day format to find a place in the side.
"Fair process has to take place and it’s easy, in hindsight, to criticise, but these are some of the intricacies we have to deal with."
Dale Steyn was still dealing with a few injury niggles, but was also being rested for the long season ahead.
Jacques Kallis had not made himself available for the Sri Lanka tour and Cricket SA’s chairman of selectors Andrew Hudson said it was time for a discussion with the world’s top all-rounder to determine his future in the shorter formats of the game.
"We are trying hard to put together a squad which will take us to the world cups in both formats and need to find out where Jacques is at, and see where he adds value," Hudson said.
"It would not be ideal for us if he didn’t play any in bilateral-series matches and then just pick him for the 2015 ICC World Cup, but it also depends on how keen he is to play.
"Ideally, the squad for the world cup is the team which has represented South Africa in the preceding 18 months, but Jacques is special and we need to give him due consideration."
Meanwhile, David Wiese became the 58th player to be named to represent the Proteas in the shortest format of the game and was the only new cap.
The Proteas depart on July 14 and play their first of five ODIs in Colombo on the 20th, followed by three T20s.
ODI squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Alviro Petersen, Colin Ingram, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Ryan McLaren, Chris Morris, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Rory Kleinveldt.
T20 squad: Henry Davids , AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (captain), JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Ryan McLaren, Chris Morris, Morne Morkel, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir, Wayne Parnell, Rory Kleinveldt, David Wiese, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.