Domingo defends his AB, Steyn tactics

News

South Africa coach Russell Domingo cut an exasperated figure at his press conference upon returning from the World Twenty20, forced to defend his batting order and the use of AB de Villiers in particular.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo cut an exasperated figure at his press conference upon returning from the World Twenty20, forced to defend his batting order and the use of AB de Villiers in particular.

The Proteas were repeatedly criticised for not using De Villiers, their best batsman, earlier on in matches, but rather choosing to send him in at five, or after 10 overs had been bowled. The coach said De Villiers' style was not ideal too early on in the knock.

Domingo said: "AB is an impact player and the stats show – not just for South Africa but also in the IPL – that he's more dangerous when the game has been set up for him. He doesn't have the same game as Virat Kohli.

"He's batted [at] three with limited success. But it's not about the number he bats, it's about the situation when he comes in. If he walks out in the first over, I don't think that's a great time for him to bat. But if there's been a good start, then that's a great time for him to bat.

"But if we have a 13-over partnership, then there's criticism that AB's coming in too low. People seem to want our players to get out, so AB can come in."

He then went on to explain why Dale Steyn had three overs still to bowl with six overs to go in the semi-final, with people wondering if he couldn't have made more of an impact earlier on in the innings, before India had built a platform.

He added: "Dale can only bowl four overs and we need him the middle and at the end of the innings. We also need to set up the six-over powerplay up front as best as we can, but we can't bowl Dale one up front, just one in the middle and two at the death.

"So we decided we'd rather have guys like JP Duminy bowling at the start in the less-pressured overs and he only went for seven in the first over against New Zealand, while Dale went for 17 in the first over against Sri Lanka. But the fifth and sixth overs are the most attacking."

Despite all this, Domingo insisted the Proteas had done well in the tournament, and had even had a decent record building up to it. He felt that the two sides best suited to the location reached the final.

He said: "You're always judged on your last game, but I felt we played some really good cricket in the tournament. In those conditions, probably the two best sides [Sri Lanka and India] made the final, but we were quietly confident going in.

"We've generally played good T20 cricket in the last year. We have a good playing strategy, we got to No 2 in the world, so there's a definite upward trend.

"We lost the Australian series because we got beaten in a seven-over game and then played badly in the other match, but we had success in Pakistan and we beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka."

Latest