South Africa coach Russell Domingo put their disastrous 4-1 thrashing by Sri Lanka in a one-day international series this week down to a lack of experience in the limited-overs side.
The Proteas currently have a lead of 19 rating points over India in the ICC test rankings but have won just seven of their 18 one-day internationals in 2013 – one of which was against the Netherlands – and were woefully outclassed with bat and ball in Sri Lanka, the first tour for new head coach Domingo.
“We have a few players like (Farhaan) Behardien, (David) Miller and (Faf) Du Plessis who haven’t played ODI cricket in Sri Lanka before, so it was a massive learning curve for them,” Domingo said in a Cricket SA media release on Thursday.
“Their inexperience in those positions was shown and those are things we need to consider for future tours on the subcontinent, making sure we have the right personnel in those important positions for the conditions.”
The absence of fast bowler Dale Steyn and veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis also had a negative impact and Domingo wants to make sure they are part of the next limited-overs series against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in October.
“We need to manage guys like Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis. We also need their input in our one-day system. Their unavailability for this tour has shown up through the lack of experience we have had,” he added.
“I need to have discussions with these players and then decide on which players we want to take forward to Dubai.”
Captain AB de Villiers suggested before they departed South Africa that the difference in fortunes between the test and limited-overs teams was down to experience, a point driven home on the tour.
He hoped that the experience gained in Sri Lanka would help the younger members of the squad, though there were concerns that the struggles of such a difficult tour could leave a lasting memory.
With the 2015 World Cup 18 months away, Domingo will have to choose between continuing to experiment with young players and potentially losing more games than they win, or return to tried-and-trusted performers and risk injury in a packed schedule of international cricket.
He has suggested the Proteas must opt for the latter.
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