Hamilton - Proteas coach Russell Domingo believes his squad remains a ‘work in progress’ despite the success in the current Test match series against New Zealand.
The Proteas hold a crucial 1-0 lead going into the final match starting at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday, and have identified key areas to tweak as they look to maintain their unbeaten series record in New Zealand.
The bowlers earned full marks following their performance in Wellington, and will take the confidence of performing on any surface into the unknown conditions expected for the final match. An area of concern for the coach has been some of the batting form, which has been inconsistent throughout the series.
“All batting units at international level will always have one player that is struggling for form,” Domingo said in Hamilton on Wednesday. “That is OK, you can’t rely on one player, that is why it’s a batting unit, that is why it’s a team. The team has to try and help those players get out of those slumps.
“Every player has been in those slumps,” he added. “We have two or three players who are feeling that pressure at the moment and that is a concern. It’s always easier to have one but if you have two or three who are searching for form and runs it does become a bit more challenging.
“We are fortunate that some guys are in good form; Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, they are all in good touch and it is helping the cause.”
A series win will be another feather in the cap following the team’s successes this past season - highlighted by an away series win against Australia and a 3-0 series whitewash at home to Sri Lanka. Success this week will also be another step towards rebuilding the Test team’s proud away record, after the nine-year unbeaten streak was broken by India in 2015.
“We have lost one series away from home in the last 10 years,” Domingo said. “The one in India was the one we lost. The side takes a lot of pride in how well we travel. They (players) enjoy each other’s company; enjoy seeing new countries. That is one of the main ingredients for why we travel well and play good cricket, the guys enjoy being together.
“It’s a massive feat for this side to come here being 1-0 up with one to play,” he added. “We know it’s not done yet, New Zealand are a quality side and we are going to have to be at our best to beat them.”