South Africa coach Ottis Gibson has identified his preferred candidates for the support roles in the Proteas setup, and tasked Cricket South Africa with securing their services. While Gibson did not reveal who those coaches are, he confirmed that he would step into the role of fast bowling coach, making Charl Langeveldt redundant in the process.
With only a short period between his final game as England’s bowling coach in September and his first as head coach of South Africa, Gibson had retained predecessor Russell Domingo’s backroom staff for the Bangladesh tour. Now that he has had time to assess their merits and consider other options, Gibson has found clarity on who he wants to work with for the remainder of his contract.Watch Cricket highlights at my-cricket-highlights.com
“There are names at the moment. Obviously, Cricket South Africa have to make that happen. At the moment there are just names of people that I think can do a good job with the team, some overseas, some local,” Gibson said in Johannesburg on Monday (October 30).
“I will do the bowling, then there will be a batting coach, a fielding coach, an assistant coach and a spin bowling coach – so four, plus myself. Having spoken to Charl, bowling has always been my specialism as a coach, fast bowling. He fully understands that.”
South Africa’s next assignment is the Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth, which will give CSA time to approach the coaches on Gibson’s list. However the new coach has also asked for new coaching positions to be created within the current structure.
“I am also in discussions with CSA about a few key positions that I think can make a difference in this country in terms of having elite coaches. So there is an elite fast bowling coach for CSA – not just for the team – and an elite batting coach so that when we are on tour, and we have a couple of injuries and I want to know who is the next best fast bowler in the country, I have a person I can go to,” said Gibson.
“At the moment, if I ask that question, I will be asking it to the selectors. The selectors are doing a great job but the selectors are not coaches. Sometimes you want a coach.”
Gibson has also met with the domestic franchise coaches to discuss a shared vision with regards to white-ball cricket, and extended an open invitation for them to join the South Africa setup whenever the national team are gathered in their region.
On Sunday (October 29), South Africa completed their whitewash of Bangladesh with another thumping victory in the second Twenty20. While the West Indian could hardly have asked for a softer landing than a series against a poor Bangladesh team, he believes that the seven straight wins have set the platform for the greater challenges to come, and allowed the players to regain confidence after a difficult experience in England over the winter.
“I said to them last night, you had a tough time in England in tough conditions, conditions you are not accustomed to and I hope that what you’ve you’ve done over the last five weeks have given you back that confidence in yourself,” said Gibson. “We’ve scored 10 international hundreds across all formats (against Bangladesh). It says a lot of our batsmen and their mentality but also the ability that they have and the talent that they have. People have said that Bangladesh haven’t been a great opposition, but we still have to play the way we want to play and we have done that.”
Gibson also revealed how South Africa created their own challenges within the series, and said that the players had risen to those challenges in a way that showed they are responding to his methods.