Proteas coach Russell Domingo isn’t taking the ODIs against New Zealand lightly, but is confident that his settled squad can produce the goods.
Talking at a news conference after arriving in New Zealand, Domingo emphasised the importance of the tour. He also spoke about playing at an unfamiliar venue.
‘Every game leading up to the World Cup is very important,’ said the coach.
‘We are not at all surprised about playing at a new venue. It’s good to experience different conditions because we have all played in Auckland and Hamilton before.’
Domingo told the press that his side won’t take anything for granted, as history shows how difficult it has been to win in the land of the long white cloud. Three of the Black Caps, hailing from Tauranga, were singled out as particular threats.
‘Our record in New Zealand isn’t great,’ said Domingo. ‘I think we have lost 16 and won 8, so it’s worse than in Australia where we have won more than we’ve lost. It shows how tough New Zealand are to beat at home.
‘Kane Williamson’s game has really improved. Trent Boult is a skillful bowler and Corey Anderson is a big hitter, so they are three big players.’
Shifting the focus onto his troops, Domingo talked about the difficulties associated with replacing Jacques Kallis. He also stated that he was pleased with the consistency shown in the selection of the squad.
‘Kallis hasn’t played a lot of ODI cricket of late, so we always had a plan in the back of our minds. We’re still trying to cover his bowling role, but Faf [du Plessis] has stepped up in terms of his batting. The game goes on, though, nobody is irreplaceable. We are fortunate in South Africa to always have a pool of talent to call on.
‘It’s nice to not welcome any new players into the team. We are pretty settled and excited to see all our players play an exciting brand of cricket,’ concluded Domingo.