Fringe players will have to perform consistently if they want to dethrone one of the current Proteas batsmen, says Russell Domingo.
There has been pressure on the selectors to pick fringe players like Stephen Cook and Quinton de Kock for the Test side.
While Domingo acknowledged their push for a place, he explained what it would take for someone to replace a current player.
‘We sort of know who the peripheral players are, who the guys out of the squad are who are playing in the SA A side and the guys who are doing well at franchise cricket,’ Domingo said.
‘Consistency is the most important thing. A hundred now and then with no scores for seven or eight games is not what is required to play international cricket. You really need to bang the door down. Averages of 35, 27, 32, are not going to guarantee you any better performances that you are going to get from the current national players.
‘We are very confident that the players we have in our current group are the best players in the country, there is no doubt about that. They have served the country well in the past. They are quality players. I think the public and media will always think that players who are not playing are better than players who are playing. That’s just the way it is. I’m happy with the squad we’ve got.
‘For sure, it’s not a closed shop, we are always looking at outside options and there are a few names that have been mentioned that need to continue to put in good performances.’
Pressed on Temba Bavuma’s rise to the Test side, Domingo said he was impressed with the batsman but made it clear he won’t be considered to open the batting.
‘I’ve been very happy with Temba’s progress,’ he said. ‘He is very mature, young cricketer. Very calm, very good technically. He will slot back into the middle order for this Test match. I think that is probably where he is most suited. I think these conditions with the extra bounce with his stature might be a little trickier for him, so that is why we decided to go with him in the middle order.
‘I don’t think we’ll open the batting with him in these conditions. He’s a middle order batsman. If he wants to open the batting for South Africa he’ll have to do it at franchise level first. A guy like Stiaan van Zyl, who’s opening the batting, we got him to open the batting for half a season in franchise cricket. He opened the batting for the SA A side on their tour to India, so I think it’s only fair on the player to first give him an opportunity to do that before bringing him into the national side.’