THE Castle Lager Proteas’ 4-1 series loss to Sri Lanka has revealed the hard-hitting reality of the amount of work still needed in the 50-over format. The Proteas’ resources were founding wanting in tough Sri Lankan conditions, and coach Russell Domingo says a lot of introspection and decisions need to be made looking ahead to the future series and the ICC World Cup in 2015.
“Everyone knew it was going to be a tough start,” a disappointed Domingo said. “If you look at the history between South Africa and Sri Lanka, particularly in Sri Lanka, some more experienced sides have come here from South Africa and have been turned over so we knew it was going to be a tough series.”
Domingo admitted that the Proteas were outplayed in all three departments, and says the gap between the teams is a concerning reflection of how much the ODI unit still has to grow.
The middle-order was consistently poor throughout the series, and struggled to fire collectively. Domingo hopes the players will benefit from the experience in the long run, but admits that better planning and foresight will be needed for future tours.
“We have a few players like Behardien, Miller and Du Plessis who haven’t played ODI cricket in Sri Lanka before, so it was a massive learning curve for them.
“Their inexperience in those positions was shown and those are things we need to consider for future tours on the sub-continent; making sure we have the right personnel in those important positions for the conditions.”
Domingo says the invaluable experience of Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Graeme Smith was dearly missed.
“We need to manage guys like Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis; we also need their input in our one-day system. Their unavailability for this tour has shown up through the lack of experience we have had.
“I need to have discussions with these players and then decide on which players we want to take forward to Dubai.”
The Proteas’ next engagement is a five-match series against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi followed by a series against India at home.