Castle Lager Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, says overcoming Pakistan’s “predictable unpredictability” will be the challenge in their ICC Cricket World Cup Group B match at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday March 7.
Both teams have played four matches in the tournament thus far, and a win for either side will be invaluable as the race towards the quarter-finals heats up.
“Their unpredictability is not a challenge, because they are predictably unpredictable,” Domingo said of Pakistan in Auckland on Thursday. “We know that they can beat anybody on their day, so that is great for us. We need to prepare really well, and to make sure we respect the opposition. We need to go through our processes over the next couple of days, because their strength lies in the predictability of their unpredictability.”
Domingo says the only way to curb Pakistan is by sticking to the team’s tried and tested strategy of sticking to their processes and focusing on their strengths.
“It’s really about playing a solid game of cricket,” he explained. “It’s about focusing on your strategies and game plans, not getting lulled into what the opposition is doing or what they can bring to the match. It’s important to focus hard on the strengths of your team, that is something that we will need to do well against Pakistan.”
The coach says he is not concerned by Quinton de Kock’s slow start with the bat, and feels finding form will be a good test of character for the young “match-winner”.
“His ankle is fine,” he said of the 22-year-old. “I think all batters go through periods where they are looking for runs. It was four games ago in a warm-up match where he got 60 runs against Sri Lanka. In competitions like these there is always going to be a batter that is looking for some form, and because Quinton has had such an outstanding year, the expectation is that every time he bats he is going to get runs; cricket doesn’t work like that.”
The Proteas have had comfortable wins against the West Indies and Ireland in their last two matches, but still feel the pressure and importance of every match to come.
“Pakistan is a big game, we will be tested on Saturday,” he said. “They have come off two good wins, they have some match-winners in their side and they beat us in South Africa just over a year ago. We see every game as a big test for us.”