Axing might help Duminy
Sees it as a new opportunity
JP DUMINY will play Test cricket again for South Africa, it’s just a matter of when.
For now though, being axed from the 13-man Proteas squad announced for the first Test match against the visiting Sri Lankans next week, could well prove to be a blessing in disguise for the talented lefthanded middle-order batsman.
The 27- year- old, who last played Test cricket in 2010, in the home drawn two- match series against India, will be better served getting game time for his franchise, the Cape Cobras, in the four-day SuperSport Series.
It serves him little purpose to sit around twiddling his thumbs as a non-playing member of the national team – as was the case in the recent series against the Australians.
Duminy admits as much. “Losing my Test place first and now my place in the squad, while disappointing, presents an opportunity for me to play on the domestic front,” he said.
“My last four-day game was a season ago, I scored a double hundred and I batted well...”
Duminy’s susceptibility to spin and the short ball saw the No 6 batsman axed from the Test XI in 2010.
It was a huge let-down for the talented shot-maker after his dream Test debut in 2008 against Australia Down Under.
In the team in place of Ashwell Prince ( ironically the player keeping him out of the team at present), Duminy announced his credentials as a star of the future.
He hit an unbeaten half-century and the winning runs, before top-scoring with 166 in the second Test to give South Africa their first Test series win in Australia.
“I’ve set high expectations going forward,” Duminy said at the time.
The fact that Duminy, who has played 12 Tests and averaged 28.7 with the bat, was not able to cement his place in the team, has been viewed by him in a positive light.
“Ups and downs are part and parcel of life,” he said. “I wasn’t performing at a level that warranted my inclusion and paid the price for it.
“Not being able to push on and hold down my place after a great start to my international career hurts big time… what is one to do but fight on. I know I have the game to be competitive at the highest level, it’s now a waiting game.
“A bit of luck would need to go my way right now. I don’t wish ill or back luck to anyone I’m challenging, my focus right now is on scoring plenty of runs for the Cobras.
“I’ve been in good nick in the shorter formats so far this season, now for the longer version and I’m itching to get going.”
The weaknesses in Duminy’s batting makeup have been worked on,” said Cobras coach Richard Pybus.
“JP had a couple of issues with technical aspects, we’ve identified them and he’s responded with his pure passion and commitment to the cause.
“He’s a serious talent. It’s a tough time for him at the minute, but I’m sure he’s going to bounce back smartly when the opportunity beckons. He’s delivered telling performances for us in the One-day Cup, showing he is on top of his game,” Pybus said.
MAN ON A MISSION: JP Duminy hoping to get back into the Proteas team.
DOWN AND OUT: Phil Hughes departs after another failure.