We are not focussing our attention solely on Virat Kohli: South Africa coach Russell Domingo
South African coach Russell Domingo has said that Indian batsman Virat Kohli isn’t the only one who could pose a threat for his side in their upcoming Pool B game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) on Sunday. The 26-year-old began his World Cup campaign with a bang by scoring a century against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval last week.
"They (India) have got a seriously good batting line-up and it's not our style to target one individual player in a batting line-up. That's not how we go about our stuff. It's very much respecting the whole unit. Because we know they have match-winners right through their batting line-up.
“We all know that Virat Kohli has been an outstanding player for India in the last couple of years. His record has been phenomenal. He is obviously the kingpin in their batting line-up. But we were talking last night in dinner about guys like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane,” Domingo told reporters at the MCG on Thursday.
The three-time World Cup semi-finalists are yet to lose a game to the Men in Blue at the mega event, but the 40-year-old felt that past records will have little bearing when the teams take the field in a couple of days time.
"I am not sure that we have thought about it in that way. We have been very focussed on our preparations. I do not know whether it's a psychological advantage or not, but we can't take India lightly. India are current world champions and a wonderful ODI side. Whatever we have done in the past will count for very little when we play on Sunday,” he said.
Steyn is fine: Domingo
He also provided encouraging news about the condition of his premier fast bowler Dale Steyn, saying that the 30-year-old fast bowler was alright and there was nothing to worry about him.
"He had a run today. He has had a bit of sinusitis but nothing to worry about it. New Zealand can be pretty cold and I am sure you guys must have also had a sniff of that, Christchurch especially,” the Protean head coach said.
He further said that India might have had a tough tour of Australia, prior to the start of the World Cup, but had no doubt that the MS Dhoni’s men would up and ready for the quadrennial event.
"To be honest, we didn't watch too much of that game (India vs Pakistan) as we had our own game. Our focus was purely on ourselves.
"I heard one of them (Dhoni) saying that there was an eight-day off and that really freshened them up. That could have been a point. They have some of the best players in the world in their side. Agreed that they have had a very tough tour of Australia but World Cup is their main priority now. We knew that they would come fresh. Come Sunday, we need to be on top of our game," he said.
Vernon Philander could play a big role on Sunday: Domingo
Talking about the wicket that will be on offer for the game, Domingo said that there was a bit of moisture underneath the track and expected someone like a Vernon Philander to exploit it.
"There seemed to be a bit of bounce last time and then the wicket had something on offer. Hope there will be something in the wicket for Vernon as he is good bowler, when there is something in the wicket for him. He is someone most effective in world cricket when wicket does something. I hope he can play big role for us on Sunday," the coach said.
Domingo also said that results are important as it further boosts the morale within the group.
"Results are always important. In front of a big crowd, against a quality side like India, if we win, it would serve as motivation. Every time, you win a cricket match, you need to appreciate it as you don't win international matches every day. A lot of positives will be taken if we can beat India at an early stage.
"We heard that tickets have been close to being sold out. It will be big stage for some of our players, who haven't experienced such atmosphere before. There is lot you can take out of a good result. Every game that we play for South Africa is a big game. We know there's always a bit of hype when India are in town. They have got massive support and some really big players in the side,” he said.
He also revealed the he wasn’t too perturbed about the net run-rate as there are a lot of matches to be played still.
Net run-rate is the last thing on my mind after winning a tight game against Zimbabwe. There's still too much cricket to be played to be worried about such small things," he concluded.