Domingo pleased with strength of squads


South Africa coach Russell Domingo is pleased with the respective T20 and ODI squads to take on New Zealand next week, with the likes of AB de Villiers returning to strengthen the sides.

The new selection panel, headed by Linda Zondi, announced strong squads bolstered by the return of De Villiers, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander for the anticipated clash against the World Cup finalists.

The Proteas arrived back in South Africa from their tour of Bangladesh on Tuesday morning and will have a week’s break before convening in Durban next Tuesday to begin preparations for the series.

The return of Morne van Wyk at the top of the order allows Domingo the opportunity to 'look at other options' during the two T20 Internationals and three ODIs, particularly in the latter where Van Wyk will don the gloves.

Domingo said: "It’s a good squad. Talking to AB, he finds it extremely difficult keeping wicket, batting number four and captaining the side.

"Of all the formats he finds the ODI wicket-keeping role the most mentally and physically draining, particularly going to India where heat is such a big factor."

He added of Van Wyk: "Until there is someone who jumps up as the next guy in line we know Morne van Wyk will do a good job. He has been a good performer for a while, in his last T20 match he got a hundred, with the T20 World Cup not too far away, you think of a team like Australia picking 41-year-old Brad Hogg.

"He is at a good age for a T20 cricketer and it might be a short-term solution but it does allow us to look at the other options available to us."

Eddie Leie retains his position in the T20 squad following an impressive debut, and will be rotated with fellow spinner Aaron Phangiso as the selectors continue to test out their options.

Domingo added: "In South African conditions it is difficult to play two spinners. We are going to have to try and find a way of alternating the two; we want to have a look at both of them again.

"Imran Tahir is not in the squad and he has been our best spinner for the last two years in limited-overs cricket. This series is another opportunity to look at other spin bowling options and I see us rotating the two."

The Proteas welcome back the pace duo of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander after they were rested for the series against Bangladesh, while Morne Morkel and JP Duminy have been given paternity leave for the ODI series. Late winter conditions at the seam-friendly Durban and Centurion venues will be an enticing challenge for the pair.

Domingo said of Philander: "I think he bowled really well in Bangladesh, his control was impeccable. He hasn't picked up a lot of wickets but he has done a good job for the captain in controlling the game.

"He was the most economical bowler and when he did come on those wickets he looked like he could get a wicket at any stage. Vernon is a quality bowler, particularly when we get back to South African conditions this time of the year; I reckon Vernon will be a handful with the white ball against New Zealand."

The first match of the series takes place at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Friday, 14 August.