Russell Domingo was lukewarm about Morne Morkel’s ability to strengthen the Proteas’ lineup, after his side’s seven-wicket victory at Lord’s on Monday.
Morkel was called up to replace Dwaine Pretorius in the third ODI and bowled four overs in his first ODI back in a year.
The 32-year-old ended with figures of 0-15, while his less-experienced counterparts Kagiso Rabada (4-39) and Wayne Parnell (3-43), tore through the England lineup to skittle the hosts for 153 in 31.1 overs.
Domingo welcomed Morkel’s return.
‘He [Morkel] only bowled four overs,’ said the Proteas coach.
‘It’s a catch-22 situation; having Morne might strengthen our bowling but it gives us a longer tail not having the three all-rounders.
‘He hasn’t played a one-day international in a while, it’s good to have him back. He has had a long injury and a long layoff and the players who have played in his absence have done really well.
‘I always felt it to be fair to them to give them first bite. Morne is a quality bowler and it is great to have him back in the mix.’
Despite losing the series, which did not alter the Proteas’ No 1 ranking, it was vital that the side picked up a win in the final ODI to give the players confidence heading into their Champions Trophy opener on Saturday.
The match was given dead-rubber status, but Domingo insisted that positives came out of the Proteas’ seven-wicket victory. It is now up to his players to reflect what they have learnt from the 2-1 defeat.
‘Every international game has importance,’ he said after the match at Lord’s on Monday.
‘Whether we are two-nil up or two-nil down, we try to approach it with the same sort of intensity. There have been a lot of benefits and a lot of positives in the last two games that we can take through towards the Champions Trophy.
‘I’m happy with the way things have panned out for us today [Monday].’
It was great to see Rabada gain momentum and hit full stride with a Man of the Match performance heading into their opener against Sri Lanka on 3 June.
Domingo continued by praising the talent he has in his squad.
‘We have really good players, amazing talents and experience as well,’ he said.
‘We have been playing good cricket; if we had won the game before we would have won the series. To win this game will give us confidence and I feel the team goes into the Champions Trophy feeling strong. We have great names and if we play well we can win this.’
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