Dolphins coach Lance Klusener has been roped in by the Proteas to help the lower order improve their batting ahead of the England series.
The first Test between South Africa and England starts on Saturday at Kingsmead in Durban.
Coach Russell Domingo has admitted they see the lower order as potentially an area that needs to be worked on, specifically the players batting at No 8, 9, 10 and 11.
‘I don’t think we have all-rounders from the past like Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje, so our tail is a little exposed at the moment,’ Domingo said.
‘I’ve asked Lance Klusener to join us for this [Boxing Day] Test and his particular role will be to work with the lower order batters as a guy who’s batted a lot in those positions at international level.
‘It gives our lower order a sense of purpose and a sense of direction because their contributions in this series with the bat is going to be very important.’
Domingo admitted that the two sides were very similar with regards to current form and team selections.
‘England have also come from a series loss [against Pakistan in the UAE]. I read a lot and hear a lot about their side also struggling to find an opening batter, also struggling with who’s going to keep wicket, who’s going to be the third seamer. A lot of Test sides at the moment are going through a bit of a transitional phase.
‘And when that happens there is obviously some changes that take place more regularly than when your side is established and settled. I think England are in a very similar position to what we are – coming off a series loss and trying to find their best starting XI.’
The South African batsmen have been struggling for runs of late and failed to gain some confidence from the first round of Sunfoil Series matches last week. Domingo said he was optimistic that the likes of Stiaan van Zyl, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla will be able to turn it around soon.
‘We’ve got some serious quality in our batting line-up. We know it’s all about runs and putting in big performances, the players are fully aware of that,’ he said.
‘But we know it’s one big score away. One big start or or one drop catch and somebody can get a bit of luck and a bit of momentum going and everything can get back into place so, that’s part of the game. You are not always going to be at your best, you go through lulls as a batsman and as a team. We need to find ways of getting out of it. The important thing is to make sure that you keep doing your basics really well. Train hard, think about your game.
‘I think everyone will feel a bit of pressure [not just Hashim Amla]. We know that not a lot of runs were scored in India but like I said they were very extreme conditions. Hashim’s record over the last six or seven years is better than most cricketers in the world. I know he’s so close to a big score. He’s hitting the ball really well, his position is really good, he’s training really hard. You just need or two things to go for you. You can’t pre-empt what’s going to happen but I won’t be surprised if Hashim has a good series against England.’