Domingo still has a year left on his contract with CSA, but the last 12 months have been so poor that when that performance review is conducted Domingo’s future in the job must be in doubt.
Two ICC events have taken place in the past year and all South Africa have to show is a semi-final spot in the 50 overs competition in 2015. They managed wins only against the West Indies and Sri Lanka among cricket’s major nations, and in their dismal World T20 campaign could defeat only Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, the latter in a dead rubber.
Domingo put up a vehement defence of his ability to take the team forward as coach, including that he had the backing of the players, that the group “seemed happy,” and that in the last few months the side suffered due to critical injuries to key players, notably Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.
He also trotted out what has become a tired line about the recent retirements - a reference to Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher.
His coaching staff is among the best in the world, he said: “I know the players support me, I have very good relationships with them, our work ethic is good, the management team is an outstanding bunch of cricket coaches, they get the best out of the players, maybe not all the time. There will always be coaches who lose games at world cups - there can only be one world cup winner -and maybe those other coaches will be faced with the same questions when they get home.
“The management team we have put together is as good as any in the world, there are outstanding individuals, guys who have good relationships with the players, a lot of expertise, a lot of experience as players and coaches. I am confident it’s the right group of management to take the team forward.”
The coach can of course only prepare the team, and Domingo believes the preparation in the months leading up to the event and the days before the opening match against England went as well as could be hoped.On the field, though, the performances were inconsistent and the bowlers in particular lacked discipline, as outlined by the fact that South Africa conceded 53 extras including 36 wides in the four group matches.
“It’s tough to say, we have always been a disciplined attack but we didn’t cope well under pressure,” said Domingo.
Faf du Plessis also bemoaned his bowlers ill-discipline and the inability of the senior players to make a substantial contribution when it mattered most. “I look at India, who I don’t think have played good cricket in this tournament, but in a big match the other night (against Australia) Virat Kohli plays a great innings,” he said. “That is when you want your senior players to perform in big matches. I included myself in that, I wanted to and should have made a play against the Windies.”
As yet another ICC event passes without South Africa making even the final, never mind winning a trophy, the review by Cricket SA will have to assess the mental blocks that inhibit the side from producing its best when under pressure.
Lorgat pointed out that the team had some of the finest individual talent in the world, but those individuals have also failed to produce a collective effort when the situation demanded.
Domingo said that as coach it was his job to ensure that occurred, but he remained unsure as to why the team was able to bat well but bowl badly in one match and then bowl well but bat badly in another.
Concluded Lorgat: “We should allow a clinical review (to take place) to provide us with a basis to make decisions.” – Independent MediaRussell Domingo will face the most intense interrogation of his tenure as coach in the coming months as Cricket South Africa (CSA) conducts a review of the national side’s performances this season.
Original source: Review time for Domingo