Ax­ing might help Du­miny

Sees it as a new op­por­tu­nity

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

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.

Matthew Jor­daan

MAN ON A MIS­SION: JP Du­miny hop­ing to get back into the Proteas team.

Gallo Im­ages

DOWN AND OUT: Phil Hughes de­parts af­ter an­other fail­ure.

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