The Castle Lager Proteas’ Test squad will not be making any major changes to their strategy in preparation for the second Test match against Pakistan starting in Dubai on Wednesday. The players held their first training session at the ICC Global Cricket Academy on Sunday afternoon, where coach Russell Domingo told the media of the squad’s intentions to level the series.
“Certain sides play a certain way over a period of time,” Domingo replied when asked if his team would switch to Plan B. “We know we were outplayed and there are certain things that we need to improve on and maybe try to look at different options. The plans won’t change massively, we will stick to our basic plans but hopefully execute them better in the second Test.”
The Proteas attack struggled to penetrate Pakistan’s line-up in slow adverse conditions but Domingo maintains the vaunted attack has the skill and the character to take 20 wickets in a match. The bowlers came back with an improved performance in Pakistan’s second innings, and will have planted seeds of doubt into the oppositions thoughts after they had them looking shaky at 7/3 in pursuit of 40.
“There was a sense when we were leaving the field that if we had scored an extra 100 runs we could have had a sniff,” Domingo said. “I have no doubt that we have the bowlers in this group of players that are capable of taking 20 wickets. We need to implement our plans a lot better and be a lot more disciplined throughout the innings.”
Domingo says the make-up of the team for the second Test will depend on the conditions at the Dubai International Stadium as well as certain strategies that still need to be discussed. It is still unclear if Hashim Amla will return to the tour on time for the second Test.
“It would be great to have Hashim here, not just as a player but also as a personality in the side, but family is the most important thing,” Domingo said. “ I have confidence that the player who replaces him will make use of their opportunity. He is a hard player to replace because of his performances but South African cricket has a lot of depth and hopefully the player that does come in can do well.”