World T20 2016 March 10, 2016

Consistent form gives us good chance - Domingo


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'We have to learn from our mistakes' - Du Plessis

For all the unwanted accolades Russell Domingo earned this summer - he oversaw South Africa's longest winless streak in Test cricket since readmission in which they were also bowled out for their two lowest scores - he remains their most successful major tournament coach and therein lies the chance for him to declare this season a success. Domingo has been in charge for two ICC tournaments, the World T20 in 2014 and the 2015 World Cup. South Africa reached the semi-finals in both tournaments and he has reason to believe they can go one, or even two better at the World T20 in India.

"We've got a chance. We are one of the most consistent sides in this format. We can go there very confident," Domingo said on the eve of South Africa's departure for India. "We have prepared very well. We have some of the best players in the world. We've got a seriously good side. We'll be there and thereabouts."

South Africa signed off on their home season with a 2-1 series defeat to Australia, but victories over England and India in India in the shortest format would seem to put them among the favourites. However, a difficult few months headlined by Test defeats and talk of AB de Villiers' workload management means they will fly under the radar for a change and Domingo is quite happy with that. "We are all pretty chilled. I don't think there is a weight of expectation around our team or any of the teams because of the nature of the competition," he said.

The structure of the tournament - two groups of five teams with each team playing each other only once - means the chances of slipping up are greater, so Domingo is encouraging his team to "keep it simple," and not look for a special formula. "You can't get too fancy, you can't get too funky. There is no magic wand to wave. The sides that do the basics really well in high-pressure games, they usually come out on top," he said.

South Africa were that side for five successive limited-overs matches at home when they came from behind to beat England 3-2 in an ODI series and win the first two T20s. All those wins and the first against Australia came chasing, which has allowed South Africa to bury one ghost but resurrect another. "We've chased really well which is a big bonus but we need to defend a score. We need to find ways of scraping," Domingo said.

Domingo's way of helping them find that is to ensure they have clarity of thought rather than an overload of technical expertise. "I can't hit my players if they bowl a no-ball, or slap them on the wrist," he said. "If you make a mistake, the last thing a player wants to hear is, 'Why did you bowl that?' Encouraging them and working on their thought processes is the key. If your thoughts are clear you have got a better chance of executing your plan."

Faf du Plessis has already bought into that philosophy and emphasised that the fundamentals should be South Africa's focus as they head to into the World T20: "This team has had really good results in the subcontinent but we've got some of work to do to make sure we are ready for that first game. We've got to work on the basics."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ncwadi on March 11, 2016, 10:32 GMT

    Have to agree with @ NIXNIXON's observation. We tend to loose momentum after the 10th over. I think it is crucial to have AB come in at 4 to inject life into the middle overs. With the line up we have, we can chase down any total, but don't see us batting teams out of the match if we continue to nudge it around in the middle overs.

  • blahblah1234567 on March 10, 2016, 21:59 GMT

    Good luck proteas... i hope ab gets well... he can't come at 3 due to faf performing at the spot... opening was a good idea while it lasted... i feel 4 is too low... they could have tried amla at 4 but instead he goes on to make 98 while opening. This is quite the dilema

  • masibulele9999 on March 10, 2016, 18:22 GMT

    Proteas bowlers need to understand that they can't bowl length and/or short balls towards the end of an innings, especially Steyn, otherwise they will be chasing leather all day other theb that our batting look very good

  • darsh127 on March 10, 2016, 17:31 GMT

    QdeKock Amla Du Plessis AB De Velliers Miller Dumminy (only cause he can bowl part time spin)/ Rossow Morris Steyn Rabada Tahir Abbott (Although i wish Morkel was here)

    This is the best SA 11 that would be a serious contender. AB opening just weakens the middle.

  • NixNixon on March 10, 2016, 17:29 GMT

    Faf to stay at 3. Sa need to learn that they cant slow down their scoring rate from overs 11 to 15. Thats where they loose their games. In the third t20 they scored 25 runs from 5overs during that middle overs. Its time to stop learning and to start doing.

  • Occidental_Observer on March 10, 2016, 16:42 GMT

    South Africa along with Australia are the strongest contenders for the trophy. The Indians could also win it though, I suppose.

  • Worst#1SideEverIndia on March 10, 2016, 15:15 GMT

    SA will make the semis at least, best two teams are Australia and SA.

  • android_user on March 10, 2016, 15:07 GMT

    I think south Africa should go with a specialist spinner and leave JP out he is good all rounder but is lacking conference in bowling SA have a very strong top order so they can afford a specialist spinner . Think quinten and Amla opening AB at 3 faf at 4 Riyle at 6 Morris at 7 and then the bowlers.

  •   Bishwash Lamichhane on March 10, 2016, 15:01 GMT

    I started watching cricket because of devilllers. I rearly miss matches he plays. I have scremed when he scored a century. I have cried when he cried in wc ..once again i will watch this wc hoping sa will finally win a World Cup..I will pray to God sa reaches final and abd scores century in the make them winner.#die hard abd fan

  • thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on March 10, 2016, 14:16 GMT

    The Saffas have a decent chance. Open the batting with Amla and de Kock, AB slots in at 3. I was impressed with Morris' late order hitting to win a couple of the T20s against England recently. He really gives some humpty. Miller is finding some form which is also handy. On the bowling side, a lot depends on Tahir - he is your main threat. He needs to be in red hot form for the Saffas to beat the top sides. But I really think Rabada could do some damage. Good luck from an England fan

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