While South Africa have ticked the box of chasing well under pressure, they need to improve their ability to defend a score, says coach Russell Domingo.
Domingo feels the side has dealt with the notion that they struggle to win games when asked to chase a target, as shown by the fact that they won five must-win games in a row against England, albeit in different formats.
The had to defend a total in the last two T20 internationals they lost to Australia at the Wanderers and Newlands and will look to improve that part of their game as they head into the World T20 tournament in India.
‘We’ve chased really well, which is a big bonus,’ Domingo said. ‘I know a lot of people have questioned our ability to chase but we won five must-win games chasing in a row.
‘We need to defend a score. That is a little bit of a concern for me. We need to find ways of scrapping and keeping sides under constant pressure when we are defending scores.’
Those were the two extremes Domingo took out of the cricket his side has played recently, but the biggest lesson he learned, and what will be crucial at the World Cup, is doing the basics well.
‘You’ve got to keep it simple,’ he said. ‘You can’t get fancy. You have to do the basics well. We lost these last two games because we haven’t done the basics well. There’s no rocket science and there is no magic wand to wave. The side that does the basics really well in tight contests and in high pressure games, nine out of 10 times, is the side that comes out on top.’
South Africa play their first of two warm-up games against India on Saturday where they will again try and give most of the players a chance to play.
The spotlight will be on Aaron Phangiso, who didn’t play in the series against Australia after he was suspended due to an illegal bowling action which had to be remedied. He was successful, but now lacks game time and will have to bowl in the warm-ups to see how he performs with the new action.
‘We want Phangiso to play and bowl some overs,’ Domingo said. ‘We won’t just play 11 players, we’ve asked to play more than 11 to give most of our players a run in that first warm-up.
‘We are pretty chilled. I don’t think there is a weight of expectation on our team or any of the teams because in this format any one of those top sides can be victorious at the end. So I don’t think any team will feel added pressure because you know the nature of this competition and the nature of this format. Anything can happen. We know we are one of the teams to beat there, there is no doubt about that.’