Proteas with nothing to prove – Domingo


South Africa coach Russell Domingo claims his side goes into the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against Australia with nothing left to prove.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo claims his side goes into the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against Australia, which stats in Perth on Friday, with nothing to prove.

Domingo believes the South Africans have proven recently that they are able to produce their best form in high-pressure situations and that they deserve to be regarded as one of the best sides around in the format.

The Proteas will play five ODIs against the Aussies, which Domingo believes will serve as preparation for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, rather than an opportunity to gain bragging rights against their greatest rivals.

"If you think of how well we've performed in one-day cricket over the last year, I think we've managed to win big games," Domingo said on Tuesday.

"Beaten Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka which has never happened before, beaten Australia in Zimbabwe in a final which has never happened before.

"So in one-day cricket we've made some big progress and won some games under serious pressure, but pretty comfortable."

Matches between the Proteas and Australia are often eagerly contested affairs, but Domingo doesn't expect any animosity on the field during the upcoming series.

"We expect Australia to play a hard game of cricket… [animosity on the field is] not something we're too concerned about," he added.

"We'll focus on how we conduct ourselves in the field and we try and do that in the best way possible. How Australia plays; that's their issue really; so we're concentrating on how we want to play.

"[We're] just really focusing on our preparation; batting well, fielding well, and staying a tight unit. That's something we pride ourselves on. There are no factions within our group, or splits or anything like that, so we back each other to the hilt."

During a recent tri-series in Harare which also featured hosts Zimbabwe, the Proteas triumphed in the final against the Aussies – winning a one-sided match by six wickets with more than nine overs to spare.

In that match, star batsmen Hashim Amla (51), Faf du Plessis (96) and AB de Villiers (57 not out) all made significant contributions with the bat.

As such, Domingo expects both the Proteas and Australia to be title contenders during the World Cup, irrespective of what happens in the upcoming series.

"A World Cup final is still three months away," Domingo continued.

"It's such a difficult thing to predict. Margins for error so small. But we'll be one of the sides and Australia will be one of the stars."