Domingo era begins for Proteas

  • Last Updated: December 20 2012, 15:35 GMT

South Africa will begin a new Twenty20 era under coach Russell Domingo when they host New Zealand in three matches over the next week.

Domingo: Takes over as Kirsten has a break
Domingo: Takes over as Kirsten has a break

South Africa followed the lead of England as they handed Domingo the reins of the Twenty20 team this month in a bid to give national team boss Gary Kirsten a rest from his duties.

Domingo, who led the Warriors to the Champions League final earlier this year, is set to be given a free role over the team with Kirsten reportedly only to attend a training session before the second game.

"Gary has said to me I should run with the ball but I always touch base with him," Domingo told a press conference ahead of tomorrow's first game in Durban.

"He is ultimately the man in charge and I cannot deviate massively from the processes he has put in place.

"But I can do things differently and in my own way. To not tap into Gary's thought process and his brain will be foolish on my part."

Domingo takes charge of a much-changed Proteas team with Faf du Plessis appointed as interim captain after AB de Villiers pulled out of the squad citing exhaustion.

Prized quicks Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are also set to be rested for most of the series while Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla have been left out.

That had left a void in terms of experience with the bat and the likes of Du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien, David Miller and Richard Levi will be relied upon.

"It's definitely an opportunity for the guys to showcase their talent and what they have learnt over the past few years," Behardien said.

"Faf is in good form, even though it was in a Test match. He seems to be in a good space with his batting (and) scored 65 in his last T20 innings against India in Sri Lanka.

"And myself, I'm there to assess the risk and to assess what the team needs going forward in the innings.

"Without AB there, it is our opportunity to show Russell (Domingo) and Gary (Kirsten) that we can step it up in an international series and that there are resources in the country."

New Zealand arrived in South Africa with a new-look squad of their own with veteran Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee absent.

Uncapped quick Mitchell McClenaghan and spinner Ronnie Hira grabbed three wickets each as the tourists won their warm-up game against South Africa A by 24 runs in Pietermaritzburg this week.

All-rounder James Franklin admitted the inclusion of some new names had reinvigorated the squad following a frustrating World Twenty20 campaign in October.

"They're all champing at the bit, they've obviously got no baggage and they just want to get stuck in and see where they fit in terms of the team and international cricket," Franklin told www.blackcaps.co.nz.

"There's a lot of excitement in the team at the moment."


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