Image courtesy of: Zimbio
“The opinions that matter to me are the opinions of the players”
South Africa head coach Russell Domingo has lashed out at his critics following South Africa’s World Twenty20 campaign, which came to an end after they were beaten by India in the semi-finals.
Domingo believes that “there were a lot of positives” that can be taken from South Africa’s performance in the World Twenty20 and added that the entire squad “feel there is a lot of unfair criticism to what’s happened”.
“The opinions that matter to me are the opinions of the players,” Domingo said. “It is disappointing that guys who have been in this situation before are throwing darts.
“I guess that’s just the way it goes in South African sport. It’s sad when that type of thing happens because some of those people have also been here before, they have also lost games and they have also made mistakes. Those opinions aren’t the ones that are important to me.”
One of Domingo’s main critics is former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels, who wrote in his column for SuperSport.com that “as far as strategy is concerned, in the shortest format, the Proteas are some way behind the leading teams”.
Wessels also had a go at the coaching staff, saying: “They refuse to accept that impact players, with either bat or ball, have to be put in positions consistently where they can influence the outcome of the match.”
Wessels also believes that batsman AB de Villiers should have come in at number three instead of four or five.
Responding to Wessels’ criticisms, Domingo said: “AB has batted at 3 a few times and has had limited success. It’s not the number he bats; it’s the situation of the game when he comes in. It’s not just for South Africa, but for the Royal Challengers Bangalore as well that AB plays better where there is a good start. AB will be the first to admit that he is a better player when then game is set up for him. He is an impact player. Faf and JP were voted to be included in the ESPNcricinfo T20 team of the year.
“We have quality players. I would hate the whole team strategy to be around one player. The problem is that people want AB to face 120 balls and Dale to bowl 120 balls and that ain’t gonna happen.”
When asked why he did not pick spinner Aaron Phangiso for the semi-final clash against India, Domingo said: “We were thinking JP and Imran would bowl eight overs and then Aaron, when would he bowl? With three left-arm batsmen in the Indian top six and him being a left-arm spinner, it didn’t seem a good option. It’s also about who you are playing against.”
However, despite what the critics think, Domingo firmly believes that South Africa’s “limited-overs cricket has improved a lot”.
“I think our limited-overs cricket has improved a lot,” he said. “There’s an upward trend. Maybe some people don’t see it, maybe they don’t want to see it, maybe they just have other issues.”