South Africa specialise Twenty20 role

Last updated 05:00 09/12/2012

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South Africa have appointed a specialist Twenty20 coach to oversee the Proteas against the Black Caps this month.

Russell Domingo will be in charge for the three T20s against New Zealand that open the tour in Durban on December 21. Gary Kirsten remains as head coach of the Proteas but Domingo will handle the specific responsibilities for the shortest version of the game.

Kirsten said it made sense to spread the load.

"I believe this decision is a positive move to creating a more sustainable and balanced coaching approach," he said.

"It's common best practice around the world, and we feel it will give us the platform to spread our coaching resources efficiently.

"I have worked closely with Russell over the past 18 months and I'm confident he will do a great job. He fully understands the Proteas culture and will be able to build that culture with the new crop of T20 players we will be blooding this season.

"This will also give me the opportunity to diligently cover our preparation for the test and ODI series against New Zealand and Pakistan this summer." Kirsten will still be involved in team selection and playing strategies.

Meanwhile, the Proteas have arrived home from their test series win over Australia determined to strengthen their No 1 world test ranking against New Zealand.

The Proteas play two tests against the Blacks Caps after the T20s before the tour wraps up with three one-dayers.

Top-ranked South Africa now have 123 points - six more than second-placed England and nine ahead of Australia in third.

"We are enjoying the opportunity to be here [at No 1]," skipper Graeme Smith said.

"We have worked hard to be here and we knew that Australia would be the big stepping stone for us holding on to number one.

"We have given ourselves the opportunity for our home summer to create a bit of a gap between us and the other teams. It is an opportunity to build something really special. The motivation for us will be to beat New Zealand first up." 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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