Well done to Domingo and staff


I gave Australia far too much credit, thinking they had the stomach for the fight against a South African team without Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers.

As it was, Australia folded meekly, Steve Smith the skipper was embarrassed and Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann was angry.

And what of the South African coach, Russell Domingo? He deserves nothing but praise, along with his coaching staff.

It’s very difficult to reconcile the acclaim he’s been getting the past two weeks, with the criticism that flew his way seven months ago.

Back in March after South Africa had crashed unceremoniously out of the World T20 tournament, where strategy and selection were downright confusing, Domingo had few friends.

As of Tuesday morning, he’s got plane-loads.

And he deserves credit. I tweeted as much on Tuesday and pleasingly many of those who replied admitted they’d wanted Domingo gone, but the turnaround he’s been at the forefront of engineering is admirable - and they were happy to see that fightback from the coach.

The South African coaching staff, in many ways like a new player, took some time to bed in. For Charl Langeveldt, the bowling coach, it was about understanding the attack he had at his disposal.

For Neil McKenzie the batting coach, it was not so much about getting technique’s right as it was about reinforcing self-belief with the likes of JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis.

Those kind of things take time, but as we know the world we live in nowadays doesn’t allow for time to be taken to build excellence.

Domingo would have reflected on the areas where he went wrong as South Africa endured that dreary run of one win in 11 Tests between June 2015 and January 2016.

Like the players evaluated themselves and then very openly discussed ambitions and targets during a pre-season indaba, so would Domingo have re-evaluated his coaching methods and the players he had at his disposal.

He knows them better now and they understand his methods, too.

It’s been a difficult transition period, and there will be more hurdles along the way, but Domingo and his coaching staff look infinitely more able to deal with those than was the case back in March.

After they returned from the World T20 in March, I asked Domingo if he felt he was still the right man to coach the Proteas, he answered: “I’m just a guy that will work hard with these players, that’s the bottom line.”

The Star

A few months ago, Proteas coach Russell Domingo was under pressure. Now, he's the toast of the town, writes Stuart Hess.

Original source: Well done to Domingo and staff