Sport

Domingo 'honoured' to coach T20 Proteas

Sapa

Proteas Twenty20 coach Russell Domingo is relishing the opportunity to take charge of the side for the first time.

Coach Russell Domingo. (Getty)

Domingo will take over the team on Friday when the three-match series against New Zealand begins in Durban.

The former Warriors coach will be the coach for the T20 team for the series against the Black Caps and another versus Pakistan early next year, allowing regular coach Gary Kirsten a bit of a break.

"It's exciting, I mean every coach who's involved in domestic cricket would love to be in charge of the national side, so it's a massive honour and a privilege," Domingo said on Wednesday.

He is heading a fairly inexperienced team, which includes a new captain in Faf du Plessis, along with four new caps in wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, batsman Henry Davids and bowling pair Chris Morris and Aaron Phangiso.

"The guys have worked really hard these last couple of days, so it's a massively exciting time, not just for me but for some of the younger players as well," he said. "Guys like Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris, Phangiso and those young guys that are making their debut."

The hosts are missing several regular players for the series – the likes of Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and one-day captain AB de Villiers.

Kirsten is 'still the man in charge'
De Villiers was relieved of the T20 captaincy for the series in a bid to lessen his workload over a busy summer ahead.

Domingo admitted he would still call on Kirsten throughout his stint as he finds his feet at the highest level.

"He's ultimately still the man in charge – I cannot deviate too much from the processes that have been put in place – but I can do things differently, in my own way," he said.

"Gary is in the Eastern Cape at the moment and he'll probably show his face there. It will be great to have him there, and to not tap into his thought processes and his brain will be foolish on my behalf. So I will be liaising with him."

Fighting mentality
Proteas recently returned from Australia where they claimed a battling 1-0 Test series win to stay on top of the world rankings.

That fighting mentality was something Domingo would try to bring into the Proteas T20 set-up, as the national team look to improve on their fifth-place in global 20-over cricket.

"I think the Test culture that has developed over the last couple of years is something we're striving to take through into the shorter formats," Domingo said.

"It's not something that's going to happen overnight; it will be a little bit of a process. But we're feeding it through in small drips at the moment I suppose," he added.

"Little bits of what's happening in the Test side we're trying to incorporate here, while still doing things a bit differently, because it is a different group of players." – Sapa

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