Castle Lager Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, is satisfied with the progress the Test squad has made at the halfway mark of the Test season. The squad has gone through a personnel transition period following the retirements of Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, and has passed the litmus test, with two wins and a draw under the new leadership of Hashim Amla.
"Number one is how good a leader Hashim (Amla) is going to be for the Test side going forward," Domingo said when asked what he has taken out of the last three Tests. "It’s important that we try and fill the gaps that Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis have left in our side; it’s still going to be tough to do that but we have made some progress in finding some options in our batting order that we think can work.
"It was the first time that Faf (Du Plessis) batted at three in a Test match for us and I thought that he came through quite well with 90 and 80 in two of the three Test matches," he explained. "Quinton de Kock slotted in behind the stumps and showed some good signs with the bat. There are some good positive steps made considering the loss of two icon players."
Domingo was full of praise for the incumbent captain Amla, who has had a good start to his captaincy reign with away wins in challenging conditions.
"I've been impressed with how well he has taken to it," Domingo said of Amla's captaincy. "To come into a position after an iconic leader like Graeme Smith has been in charge can be daunting and intimidating. He has taken it really well; the players have responded well to him as well. He is always going to have that calm demeanour but the hunger and desire he has to get South Africa to the top of World cricket has been evident over the last few weeks and I’m pleased by the way he has gone about his business."
The last assignment for the Test squad this season will be a three-match series against the West Indies at home in December and January.