South Africa’s Coach Russell Domingo. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

LONDON – Russell Domingo wears a smile on most days, which makes his mood considerably difficult to read. So, as he gave his thoughts on his side’s ejection from the Champions Trophy, Domingo wore that smile through the pain.

Asked if he had considered his own position or re-applied for the job, the answer came with a smile: “No, not yet.” Probed on whether he could commit himself to getting to the 2019 World Cup, the smile persisted. “I can’t say.”

It’s a time for answers, and very few are forthcoming. Domingo did open up about some matters though, such as the state of a dressing-room.

“I wasn’t there in the 2011 World Cup, but there might have been players who were there going, ‘here we go again’ type of thing,” he said of the AB de Villiers moment.

“Look, he’s the best player in the world and the game was set up for him in that situation. There’s no doubt that does deflate the change-room a little bit."

Much like his captain, the coach (for now, it seems) is convinced these men are not too far away from being the finished article.

“We’ve had two bad games here. We played averagely against Pakistan, really badly (against India), but it doesn’t make the side a bad side,” he said.

South Africa's Hashim Amla is run out. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

“There are always going to be questions asked until the side wins an event, wins these knockout games, wins these big games, and rightly so. But there’s no magic wand.

“Guys just need to make the best decisions on the day and do what they’ve done prior to those particular games. We haven’t done that (on Sunday). We’ve played great cricket over the last year and today was probably our worst game. We didn’t do the basics right.

“A lot of things have been tried, a lot of things have been discussed. A lot of people have been involved and unfortunately the results at the moment are still the same. You keep trying, that’s the bottom line. You can’t give up.”

Photo: Screengrab

No one expects the highest ranked team in the world (for now, at least) to give up, because this is their job. It’s their job to strive to be the best, yet one can’t help but sense that they keep driving up an autobahn in a tractor.

Domingo has to take a share of the blame, yet he wears the look (and smile) of a man who looks ready to walk away.

“I don’t know,” he smiled when asked what has to be done.

India's MS Dhoni as South Africa's Imran Tahir is run out. Photo: Reuters

“Players need to go away and think about it for a couple of days. It's never good to make decisions when emotions are high, so once things have calmed down, I suppose people need to sit down and think of a way forward once again,” he said of the future.


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