Domingo looking to close out the series


It would have been easy to bask in the glory of the epic events that unfolded this past week in Perth, but Domingo is fully aware that if for nothing else the conditions served up at the Bellerive Oval on Saturday will be poles apart from what was enjoyed at the WACA.

Firstly, the most telling difference of the most southern of Australia's capital cities is the weather. Whereas the Proteas experienced a scorching 37-degree Celsius day last Saturday in Perth, the temperature dropped to 8 degrees overnight in Hobart with plenty of rain forecast for the match start this weekend.

These factors will all need to be considered because they will indeed influence the surface, which has left Domingo with a quandary in regards to who will replace the injured Dale Steyn for this all-important second Test.

Highveld Lions all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius was sent an SOS and is the official replacement for Steyn, but at this stage it would be highly unlikely that South Africa will blood a debutant for the second consecutive week after Keshav Maharaj’s promising first outing at the WACA.

Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott are the back-up seamers in the squad and while the former is the more experienced of the duo and would be regarded as the frontrunner to fill in for Steyn, the conditions may just dictate otherwise.

"We've got two options at the moment. Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel," Domingo said. "Morne is coming off a back injury. We'll assess him two days before the Test and make the call on whether he is 100% fit. Kyle Abbott is a consistent solid performer and has been every time he has come in.

"We need to weigh up what type of bowler we want to use under the conditions in Hobart, because they are different to what they are here. The wickets are a little New Zealand-like, a little slower. It's a fascinating series because all three venues have totally different conditions."

Although not someone to rest on his laurels, Domingo can at least sleep a lot more comfortable leading up to this second Test than his Australian counterpart Darren Lehmann. The Aussie mentor is not only struggling to get his team to perform at a consistently high level, but is also at odds with his national selection panel that originally kept the same squad for this Tasmanian Test.

It was only when Shaun Marsh was ruled out with a broken finger and Adam Voges tweaked his hamstring which made him a doubtful starter that the selectors saw fit to call up batsmen Joe Burns and Callum Ferguson.Veteran seamer Peter Siddle has also suffered a recurrence of a back injury opening the path for Jackson Bird to be added to the Australian squad.

All these enforced changes has prompted the former Test batsman to put his entire squad on parole.

"I would say every spot is under pressure. That's the nature of the beast if you don't have success," said Lehmann after Australia lost their first home Test of the summer in 28 years.

"[We'll] Try to clear their minds," he said of the players. "But everyone has pressure. Everyone has pressure when not playing well. But also as a player you always have pressure to perform at international level.

"If you have a few bad performances, there is always someone waiting in the wings. And that's been the case for 100 years, that's not going to change I wouldn't think. We try and pick and stick where we possibly can and encourage the guys and we get in trouble when we don't pick and stick, we get in trouble when do pick and stick with you guys. So then when we add someone, it all changes.

"So, there is pressure on players day in, day out for your country and that's part and parcel of whether you are playing for South Africa or Australia."

Independent Media

Although the excitement of the WACA was still running through the veins, Proteas coach Russell Domingo has already started his planning to close out the series.

Original source: Domingo looking to close out the series