Proteas coach Russell Domingo has confirmed reports that Michael Hussey will be used as a consultant for a part of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
As SAcricketmag.com reflected on Tuesday linking the Australian with the South African team during the tournament, coach Russell Domingo confirmed the open secret at the team’s farewell in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
When asked about it at the send-off of the team at Melrose Arch, Russell beamed, ‘Mike Hussey as a consultant? We have chatted to him. I’m excited about the possibility of him joining us,’ he said.
His manager confirmed to the Cricket Australia website that the 39-year-old would attend training sessions and give advice to the South Africans on how to play in Australian conditions.
Domingo also downplayed the need for a mental coach. ‘There’s no mental coach for the World Cup. We haven’t had one in recent times, so why change now?
With regards to the starting XI, Domingo said it would depend on the conditions.
‘Australian wickets are such good wickets that they keep everyone interested. We’ve got a wonderful top order. Our middle order is really starting to come good as well. We’ve defended good scores. It’s the nature of the game at the moment. It’s difficult to stop runs. Our bowling strength is going to be important against certain teams.’
South Africa’s first match of the tournament is against Zimbabwe on 15 February. India, Pakistan, West Indies, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates are the other teams in pool B.
‘There’s no sailing in World Cups. Those teams in our group have won World Cups before. There is no complacency when facing a side in a World Cup. You have to respect all of them,’ Domingo added.
The captain, AB de Villiers, agreed. ‘We’re going to take the World Cup one game at a time. Zimbabwe is our first match so it will be our most important game so far. There’s no hiding from the fact that we haven’t won a World Cup. ‘There is a lot of pressure, but we’re going to stick together.’