From left: South African coaches Russell Domingo, Gary Kirsten and Michael Hussey during the ICC World Cup 2015 © Getty Images
From left: South African coaches Russell Domingo, Gary Kirsten and Michael Hussey during ICC World Cup 2015 © Getty Images

Former cricketer Neil McKenzie has become the latest to join the South African cricket team ahead of ICC World T20 2016, as their batting coach. With the appointment, South Africa and their fans can only hope McKenzie is able to bring fresh perspective and approach to their batsmen as they gear up for the global tournament. But with McKenzie on board, one cannot miss out to notice the fact that the Proteas have been roping in far too many coaches but with little success on the field. ALSO READ: Neil McKenzie confirmed as South Africa’s batting consultant

The most high-profile appointment that South Africa had made was during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 — a tournament in which they did not leave any stone unturned to prepare as well as they could. South Africa-born Swiss explorer Mike Horn was roped in as the team lead by AB de Villiers tried to shed the burden of failing in knockout stages of ICC tournaments. While they did win their first game in history by beating Sri Lanka in the quarter-final, they cracked in a high-pressure semi-final against New Zealand.

The same Horn who was associated with the Indian cricket team in the previous World Cup. The Indians enjoyed Horn’s company and guidance thoroughly, as they waded their way through sea of a billion expectations and broke the myth of World Cup hosts not winning the tournament at all. Australia carried the trend in 2015, and it does not exist anymore. With Horn in the South African camp, for once it actually looked like South Africa would go all the way. But they fizzled out in the first high-pressure bout.

If Horn’s appointment can be termed most high-profile, the one which looked most ridiculous was that of Lance Klusener. ‘Zulu’ was hired by the cricketing set-up to teach the tail how to bat. Yes, you read it right. Klusener was hired by the South African management ahead of the home series against England — at a time when their frontline batsmen were struggling to find their feet — to teach the tail how to bat because they had faltered in their previous series in India.

Let us take a list of men who have been in an around the South African cricket team: Gary Kirsten remains on a 50-day-a-year contract, while Michael Hussey was their batting consultant for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and for home series against England. For a while during the recent England series, a fuming Graeme Smith found himself consulting the South Africans on how to bat. Add to this are the permanent ones in Russell Domingo (head coach), Andy Birrell (assistant to head coach), Charl Langeveldt (bowling coach) and Claude Henderson (spin bowling consultant). There are a few more members in that support staff.

At present, South Africa are struggling in the only format they had nearly outright domination. Their enviable overseas record was broken in India. They have been humiliated by England at home. What South Africa need is a strong recovery alongside the development of a good bench strength, and certainly, the endless commotion in the coaching staff is not going to solve their woes.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)