Russell Domingo. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ANESH DEBIKY
Russell Domingo. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ANESH DEBIKY

It is the curse of teams such as SA A that few outside their dressing room remember that they exist. Until‚ that is‚ they perform poorly.

And perform poorly SA A did on the tour of India that ended last week‚ winning only one of their six matches.

India A won the first four-day game by an innings and the second was drawn.

SA A lost three of their four matches in a one-day quadrangular also involving India A‚ India B and Australia A.

There were no centuries and only one five-wicket haul — Duanne Olivier’s 6/63 — to report for SA A from the four-day series.

Khaya Zondo’s 117 was the lone hundred in the one-dayers and Dane Paterson’s 5/19 easily the best bowling performance.

How did SA A crash and burn so spectacularly?

"The guys didn’t play as badly as the results make it look like," coach Russell Domingo said.

"In the first ‘Test’ we fought back and nearly hung on for a draw; we lost with seven balls to spare. In the second ‘Test’ we were in quite a good position but there was a lot of rain around."

India A were 181/4 in their second innings — a lead of 207 — when that match ended.

Despite the results Domingo felt that "as the tour progressed the side’s performances seemed to get better".

But he thought the South Africans started at a disadvantage. "India A have played 10 four-day games in the last four months and our guys are coming off a winter break and straight into cricket against guys who have just toured England and played against the West Indies‚" Domingo said.

"Those are the challenges you face with the A side‚ where guys aren’t playing enough cricket together as a group."

The coach cited "the timing of the tours and the scheduling and the lack of cricket that the A side are playing and the step up from franchise cricket" as important factors in what was going wrong with the squad.

"The more games these guys are exposed to the better‚ and at the moment there’s not enough. The next A tour is scheduled for July 2019‚ I think."

SA A have played 10 games in 2018‚ less than half India A’s total of 28. The Aussie A side have had nine matches in 2018.

"There’s obviously concern because the A side’s performance over the last two years hasn’t been fantastic‚" Domingo said. He can say that again: SA A have won nine of the 31 matches they have played‚ and lost 19‚ since July 2016.