Cape Town - Proteas coach Russell Domingo says his squad is focused on the issues that they can control ahead of the third Test against Australia starting at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
The build-up to the match has been highlighted by several off-field disruptions, with skipper Faf du Plessis fined 100% of his match fee for ball tampering in the second Test, as well as being harassed for comment on the matter by a reporter at an airport.
While Domingo admitted that the preparation hasn’t been ‘ideal’, the squad remains determined to finish the tour on a successful note after two dominant performances in Perth and Hobart.
Domingo spoke of the ‘togetherness’ and ‘unity’ within the group, which he hopes will be a significant driving force as the squad aims to become the first team to claim a series whitewash against Australia in Australia.
“It’s been an interesting few days,” Domingo admitted to the media in Adelaide on Tuesday. “We have had a wonderful tour here and we have played great cricket. We have had long discussions and our focus now is purely on cricket. Whatever happens with the hearing today, I can’t comment too much on it, our focus is entirely on the Test match that is coming ahead.
“The way we have been playing and the way we have carried ourselves, not just this tour but on previous tours where we have been under the pump; we have been to India which was a tough tour but the team’s dignity was upheld at all times. The team conducted themselves in a professional manner and we have always been a tightly knit unit. Hopefully this incident does galvanise the team more.”
The match will be the Proteas’ first experience with the pink ball and day-night Test cricket, a challenge they will embrace despite the novelty and hype around the untested conditions.
“That’s the attitude we are going into the match with, it’s just another ball,” Domingo said.
“It might be a different colour, but we are playing on a cricket pitch and they have all played under lights before. We are the first South African team to play a day-night Test match in Adelaide, we have a great opportunity to beat Australia 3-0 for the first time in the history back home. That is what our focus is on at the moment, we are not too concerned whether it’s pink, white or red, we want to play the Test match.”