The coach who plotted Australia’s most recent home Test series loss has revealed his blueprint on the eve of the MagellanAshes: watch Josh Hazlewood fastidiously and don’t be afraid to give Steve Smith exactly what he wants.
Australia’s most recent home summer started with defeats against South Africa in Perth and Hobart; the latter starting with the hosts being skittled for just 85 and ending with all manner of soul-searching, a new chairman of selectors and five changes to the XI.
Those games proved a hot topic of conversation when the Proteas and England shared the customary post-series beverages earlier this year.
Now former South Africa coach Russell Domingo has given a frank insight into some of his teams’ plans.
“They bully you into submission but if you can control the run rate and get some movement, you have got a chance.,” Domingo told English newspaper The Observer.
“Technically Australia batters will struggle if you do, as they are used to flat pitches and free scoring.
“Nullify the impact of those two (Smith and David Warner) and there is a good chance of getting them for under 200.”
That is easier said than done. Smith is widely regarded as the world’s best batsman, while Warner belted a ton before lunch on day one of his most recent Test in Australia.
Smith loves it when the opposition tries to dismiss him lbw or bowled, noting in his recent biography “it means they will be bowling to what I regard as one of my strengths”.
Nonetheless, that is the tactic Domingo endorses for the classy right-hander who averages almost 60.
“Smith is a fantastic player and, at No.4, the key is get him against the new ball,” Domingo said.
“Go for the jugular … bowl straight for lbws or bowled.
“With Warner, he can seriously hurt you. We bowled pretty much into his thigh pad for as long as possible, as he’ll cut anything fourth stump or…