Business as usual as Proteas prepare for 3rd Test

Castle Lager Proteas coach Russell Domingo

Castle Lager Proteas coach Russell Domingo

Castle Lager Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, says it is ‘business as usual’ for the squad as they prepare for the third Sunfoil Test match against England starting at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Thursday. Domingo says the change in captaincy hasn’t had too much of an effect on the squad, which is focused on building on their improved performance in the second Test in Cape Town.

“Within our team it’s been business as usual,” Domingo said of the team environment while addressing the media in Johannesburg on Monday. “I don’t see too much of a change in the change room because it’s all the same players, they have all played under AB (De Villiers) in the one-day side so it’s not too much of an adjustment. We want to build on our performance from Cape Town, there were a lot of positives for us. With the ball in the second innings some of our young inexperienced bowlers bowled really well, they learnt lessons from the first innings quickly, that was exciting for us.

“We know it’s a fresh Test match,” he continued. “We will take the good stuff from Cape Town and continue to build the confidence. We know that from ball one it’s a totally different ball game, different venue, different conditions, we are going to have to be on top of our game.”

Both AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla are important cogs of the senior group of players in the squad, and will continue to add value to the environment in their own different ways.

“AB is really looking forward to doing it (captaincy),” Domingo said. “He has always wanted to captain the Test side and he is really excited by the challenge. It could bring out the best of AB de Villiers; we have seen in the past the type of innings he has played in One-Day International cricket when he has been the captain. He is an inspirational leader by the way he goes about his business as a player.

“Hashim in my opinion has done a really good job,” he continued. “He took over a squad in transition and some players have really come through under his leadership in the Test side. That fatherly guidance that he has offered to some players will be missed I suppose but it will continue on the side.”

Domingo confirmed that Dale Steyn would miss the third Test after failing to recover from his shoulder injury, and says it’s an opportunity for the player coming in to make a mark and to strive to be as good a bowler as Steyn.

All the special investigations have been done on Steyn’s shoulder and the medical team is awaiting further opinion from the specialist on how best to manage the injury. He has been given a week’s rest on the advice of the medical team.

“No not at all, I don’t think it’s the end of Dale’s career at all,” Domingo said when asked. “All players are going to experience some sort of niggles at some stage of their career and he has just had a few of them of late. He is a great athlete, as fit as anyone, these things happen. He is just going through that phase of his career but I’m sure he will get through it.”