Proteas coach Russell Domingo has offered to write a book entitled ‘They think we are stupid’ in response to the criticism his team has had to endure.
The South African coach wasn’t serious of course, but his remark after the Centurion Test did betray his annoyance at the criticism he and his players have had to endure, specifically when it comes to the team’s lack of a batting coach.
Gary Kirsten is no longer involved with the Proteas while Michael Hussey only helps out sporadically and only during the shorter formats. Lance Klusener was asked to work with the tail-enders prior to the first Test in Durban and former captain Graeme Smith was roped in for a net session ahead of the Newlands Test.
‘Everybody thinks we have not been looking for a batting coach but we’ve been trying for the last year,’ Domingo said.
‘Every team’s got it. England have got one, Australia have got one, India have got one. We’ve offered the position to quite a few people and we offered the position whilst things were going well not whilst we’ve been bowled out for 80 and 90.
‘We’ve been looking for somebody and we’ve got somebody in mind. We are waiting for him to commit to us. We’ve had a few people who said they were interested but they wouldn’t commit to it simply because traveling is not that fun when you are away from your family for a long time and when there is a lot of pressure and a lot of criticism you are faced with when things don’t go well. It’s probably easier to say it and write about it than to actually get down and do it.’
Dean Elgar admitted during the series that a batting coach ‘couldn’t hurt’ while AB de Villiers hinted at some changes in the future.
The Proteas have been criticised from all corners over the last three months, including Smith and current selector Ashwell Prince, who questioned De Villiers’ use of the phrase ‘I almost feel like all hope is gone’ after the Wanderers Test.
The coach and players have not taken kindly to the flack from former teammates, but Domingo said the team stuck together regardless.
‘The main thing I take out of it was the way side responded to a lot of noise that has come from the public and the media,’ he said.
‘When you have one or two bad series, everybody makes you sound like you are the worst players and the worst coaches in the world which is not necessarily the case.
‘That’s why when you do have one or two good series you are not necessarily the best side in the world and the best coaches in the world. You’ve got to keep a balance. Our players have maintained their composure really well through some tough times. To play the way they have played these last couple of days makes the coaching staff really proud because it has been a tough series.’