Johannesburg - Proteas coach Russell Domingo has not decided if he will reapply for his job, which has been advertised by Cricket SA (CSA), when his contract extension runs out in August after the team’s tour of England.
CSA surprised all and sundry by putting in place a process that could see Domingo leave his coaching position during a period in which the Proteas are enjoying a fantastic spell under him.
When CSA released the statement last month, the Proteas had whitewashed Australia 5-0 in a home one-day international (ODI) series in Cape Town, had beaten the Australians 2-1 in Tests away and were well on the way to defeating Sri Lanka 3-0 in their three-Test series.
Speaking after losing a T20 series to Sri Lanka 2-1 with a second-string team and whitewashing them 5-0 in the ODIs on Friday night, Domingo – who took his team to New Zealand for a T20, ODI and Test series last night – said he hadn’t made up his mind about reapplying for the job.
“I’ve got to think about it, there’s a lot of water to still go under the bridge,” he said.
“I know guys are talking about the [ICC] Champions Trophy, but that’s still six months away – our focus is entirely on this New Zealand series.
“I need to weigh up where I am in my life, where I am with my family, where I am with my career – and then make a call closer to the time. At this point I’m unable to commit or not commit. I need to see what happens.”
While CSA came in for criticism for the timing of the news, Domingo, who had his contract extended for a second time in October until the end of the England tour, said he had no such issues.
“There is never a good time, but the board has got processes it needs to follow,” he said.
“It needs to do what it feels is in the best interests of the national cricket team, whatever that might be. I don’t have to always agree or love it; it just is what it is.”
The whitewash against Sri Lanka means the Proteas have climbed to the top of the ODI rankings.
But former Proteas coach Ray Jennings, while impressed with the batting and fielding professionalism shown in dispatching Sri Lanka, is worried the crafty Black Caps might prove more than just a handful for the South African bowling attack, especially in their backyard.
“From the bowling point of view, the Sri Lankans never put enough pressure on the bowlers and the short ball has been so effective – invariably, a wicket fell when it was bowled and that slowed the run rate,” said Jennings.
“So the bowlers were never under pressure to see how good their skills are, other than for a short period of time in Cape Town, when Sri Lanka scored 109 in 10 overs and still lost by 40 runs.
“Good sides would never lose from that position, which shows that there wasn’t enough depth from the Sri Lankan batters to put pressure on the bowlers consistently through the 50 overs.”
Jennings’ other concern was bowling at the death: “The Sri Lankans never scored enough runs for us to be able to know if those [Proteas] bowlers have got good enough skill.”