The up-coming five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia will be an opportunity for the Castle Lager Proteas to continue ticking the right boxes on their road to the ICC Cricket World Cup in February next year. The Proteas have 10 ODI’s remaining before the tournament starts, with this exciting series set to be a good indicator of where the No.2 and No.3 ranked teams stand in the lead up to the showpiece.
“It’s always important to test yourself against the top teams in the world to see where you are as a cricket team,” coach, Russell Domingo said on Tuesday after the Proteas’ training session in Perth. “ They have come off a good series win in the one-dayers against Pakistan so we know they have been playing consistently in this format, it is set up to be a good series.
“We want to tick all the boxes that we still have questions about,” Domingo stressed. “We also want to finalise our pattern of play going into these conditions and to also make sure we get used to the conditions that we could be faced with. We had some experience in the T20’s so hopefully we can learn some tips in the ODI series.”
The coach says the balance of the team will need some re-thinking following the withdrawal of all-round contributor, JP Duminy, and will open up opportunities for fringe players like Rilee Rossouw and Farhaan Behardien.
“He is a big player to be missing out,” Domingo said of Duminy. “He is a quality batsman and handy spinner. He has played as a specialist spinner in some one-day games and tests so it does affect the balance of the team a little bit. We need to get our head around how we are going to fulfil that role in the next few matches.”
The Proteas expect another aggressive and fiery contest against Australia, but remain focused on playing their brand of cricket, which has brought success for the squad in the last 18 months.
“We expect the Australians to play a hard brand of cricket, that’s the way they play their cricket and it’s not something we are too concerned about,” Domingo said. “We want to focus on how we carry ourselves and how we conduct ourselves on the field; we will try and do that in the best way possible. How Australia go about their business is their issue, it’s not something that we are focusing on.”