Donald was appointed after the 2011 World Cup, along with Gary Kirsten and, of course, Russell Domingo. Four years ago there was also the appointment of a new one-day captain – AB de Villiers – and an early rebuilding phase started by Kirsten as he sought to put in place a structure for the 2015 World Cup.
With that event now over – and South Africa once again coming up short – there’ll be a lot more changes occurring over the next little while.
We now know that there has to be a new bowling coach, and it’s also likely that coach Domingo – who will stay on as head coach for at least another year – will make further changes to the coaching staff ahead of the side’s next assignment in July against Bangladesh.
There’ll be a new selection panel, too.
However, what will be of the greatest interest to South African supporters will be the future of the senior playing core of the squad that went to the Word Cup. That semi-final defeat took a huge mental toll on De Villiers, Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Morné Morkel and JP Duminy.
The cricket calendar being what it is nowadays means they’ve had (Amla being the exception) the distraction of the IPL to help them get over the disappointment. However, how much more do they want to give to the ODI cause, especially if the chance of winning the next World Cup will be hampered by age?
That group will be aged between 34 and 36 at the time of the next tournament.
Before then, there is a World T20 and Champions Trophy which could serve as points of motivation in the quest to add a limited overs trophy to the successes that group have shared in the Test arena.
The Test format remains paramount for all of them and in that regard there are two major assignments this year, which will get the competitive juices flowing – a Test series in India in October and then a tour here by England at the end of the year.
Steyn, who had such a disappointing World Cup and is now deemed not good enough to start by his IPL side, has plenty of individual milestones ahead of him in the five-day format to keep him motivated.
The same goes for the rest of them and the chance to further enhance the legacy of the current side – during a period which has seen them win twice in England and Australia – will serve as a catalyst for the next few years.
The reasons for sticking around and playing One-Day matches may not be as compelling. - The StarWith the World Cup now over – and South Africa once again coming up short – there’ll be a lot of changes occurring over the next little while.
Original source: Time to call it quits in ODIs