SA A coach Domingo plans to make Australia as uncomfortable as possible

21 February 2018 - 17:47 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
South Africa A head coach Russell Domingo.
South Africa A head coach Russell Domingo.
Image: Gallo Images

Competitive first-class tour matches have become a rarity in the age of compressed tour schedules‚ which is why South Africa A coach Russell Domingo said they need to make Australia as uncomfortable as possible.

Domingo's side will be up against a full strength Australian side that's only missing David Warner for their three-day game that start in Benoni on Thursday.

Finding comfort from the outside looking in after his four-year national coaching stint that ended in September last year‚ Domingo said fixtures of this nature against Test-ready sides are important to gauge the strength of the franchise set-up.

“Our job is to make sure their tour is uncomfortable as possible so that they don't just breeze through‚ get confidence and find confidence in these types of games‚" he said.

"Part of our mandate is to ensure that their tour gets off to a rough start and we have to put them under pressure as best as we can.

"If we can put some doubt in the batters' minds and make some of the bowlers get through long spells‚ I suppose that'll benefit the national team going forward.

“They've got to pick their strongest side because this is the only warm-up game they have.

"It's the right thing to do and I think we would've done the same where you want to play what will look like your starting 11.

"You need them getting used to conditions as fast as possible.

"I'm also glad that it's a three-day first-class game because players can actually put a premium on performance.”

A Test strength Australian team provides the likes of Khaya Zondo and Theunis de Bruyn with an opportunity to state a Test match case for themselves.

The latter has already played some Test cricket but the jury is still out on whether he makes the grade.

However‚ he's compiled some large scores in the previous two Sunfoil Series matches for the Knights to show he's up for the challenge.

Australia's gun bowling attack will ask serious questions of his temperament and technique but Domingo said the players know what's at stake in these kind of matches.

“It's a big game for so many of these players because there are many injuries in the national team set-up.

"If some of these players can actually make a big play here and with the Test squad being announced pretty soon‚ maybe they could put their names in the hat from that regard.

"This is a proper side that they're going to play against and guys are hoping to put their names in the hat for a test call-up‚” Domingo said.

“You also don't want the players finding the gap between franchise cricket and international cricket being too big so the more games they play at this level‚ the better it'll be for them.”