South Africa in England 2017 July 10, 2017

Duminy place under pressure, admits du Plessis

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Moonda: Duminy's Test career may be over

JP Duminy may not be able to keep his place in South Africa's Test XI after the returning captain, Faf du Plessis, conceded Duminy was under pressure due to poor form. That observation is vastly different from the support du Plessis had offered in the recent past, often saying Duminy looked at his best in training and it was only a matter of time before he translated that into match-day performances.

Now, after eight innings without crossing 40, du Plessis has been forced to admit Duminy is not doing enough. He made 15 and 2 in the first Test at Lord's, with his dismissal on the stroke of tea on day four particularly culpable as South Africa slipped to a 221-run defeat.

"JP will be the first guy to say he knows he needs to score runs for this team and it's no different for anyone else," du Plessis said. "He is desperate to do well as anyone in that position. You want to try and score runs every time you go out that. He knows at the end of the day that it's about runs. He understands that if it has to come to a position where there is someone else that needs to be looked at… he will be the first to acknowledge [that]. He is a crucial part of our senior player group and he will always put the team interests above himself so yes, he will be the first to acknowledge that."

With du Plessis back in the squad after missing the first Test for the birth of his first child, one option would for him to slot straight back into the team in Duminy's place but the captain said South Africa will consider a few other things. Kagiso Rabada is suspended from the Trent Bridge match for ICC code of conduct violations and South Africa may look at playing both allrounder Chris Morris and reserve quick Duanne Olivier to make up for his absence. In that case, Theunis de Bruyn would have to miss out, with du Plessis coming in for Duminy.

"With losing KG - do you look at possibly playing a four-seam attack because you are losing quite a high-quality bowler? That's means there would be a batsman that will miss out," du Plessis said. "That's one option."

Either way, du Plessis seemed to suggest that de Bruyn, who scored 48 in the first innings in what was just his second Test, has moved up the queue and possibly ahead of Duminy for the rest of this series. "You can look at someone like Theunis de Bruyn who has played pretty well this game - standing up at Lord's and it's only his second Test match. He was solid in that first innings. He played well," du Plessis said.

JP Duminy was twice dismissed cheaply at Lord's © Getty Images

The form of the middle order was the only positive South Africa's batting could take from the Lord's Test after the top four let them down yet again. Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander all scored half-centuries and du Plessis would like to see one of them in particular go on to convert that into something bigger.

"Temba has once again been consistent," du Plessis said. "But now, something Temba needs to work on is making sure he converts those starts. He is playing brilliantly but he knows that fifties don't win us matches. The difference between the two teams is that one guy scored 190. That changed the outcome of the game."

Bavuma has scored three fifties in his last four Tests but only has one hundred in his short career, against England in January 2016. Having to constantly bail the top order out may be a handbrake for him, however, and du Plessis stressed that the top two must come good. Dean Elgar got a start with a half-century in the first innings at Lord's and du Plessis was confident Heino Kuhn, who was unconvincing on debut, will show his experience at some stage.

"Heino Kuhn is not a young guy anymore but he is new to Test cricket," du Plessis said. "I don't think everything is supposed to be a fairytale where you just rock up and score two hundreds in your first game. Ask Dean. He got a pair in his first game. It's about character and how you stand up to that. This will be good. It will make him stronger."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • frankj5872380 on July 13, 2017, 5:51 GMT

    a couple seasons of poor form by AMLA will be forgiven because all the greats have a dip or two

  •   Blinkvosperd23 on July 12, 2017, 16:56 GMT

    A lot of talk about JPD. However, the last season or two Amla hasn't been too flash neither.

  • frankj5872380 on July 12, 2017, 14:29 GMT

    JP Dumminy is not selected for bowling but for batting. That is his JOB. Don't compare him to Angelo Mathews because Angelo is a much better batsmen than JP in TEST CRICKET and don't disgrace KHOLI or Williamson buy saying that JP is in the same league as them, Dumminy should not be mentioned in the same breath as them. JP has been carried buy the likes of SMITH KALLIS AMLA DEVILLIERS for most of his career and now that most of the consistent classy players of the side are retired there's no where for a mediocre player to hide. Talent is nothing without consistency that's what made the PROTEAS mentioned above greats of the game. They've all had purple patches in their careers and when the chips were down they showed their class. JP Dumminy must do South African cricket fans a favour and please retire from TEST cricket.

  • guycun8413083 on July 12, 2017, 9:04 GMT

    The Test will be played at Nottingham, a traditionally very lively wicket, where Stuart Broad averages 18.58, and where he knocked over Australia for 60 a few years ago. With that in mind, SA need to be concerned about their batting. For that reason, I think they should rest Duminy, in a straight swap with du Plessis. I would give Phelukwayo a chance in place of the suspended Rabada and make no other changes: Kuhn needs to be given the assurance that he will open for the entire series, to have a fair chance of forming a partnership with Elgar. Calls to drop Amla are statistically invalid, considering the man averages 66.41 in England, and is surely due a big innings very soon.

  • talhah3463338 on July 11, 2017, 11:47 GMT

    I dont get why Amla is getting no criticsim at all. He was poor against Australia,New Zealand and Sri Lanka. As a senior player he really needs to step up.

  • Clyde Chetty on July 11, 2017, 10:29 GMT

    Maybe if JP was given his full quota of overs he would have transformed into a better bowler.

  • Clyde Chetty on July 11, 2017, 10:28 GMT

    @SUFCINTHEPREM, fair enough, but put it this way, Ali was a batsmen who "could bowl a bit" when needed, but it's because of the trust shown in his bowling ability and giving him opportunities to do so that he has developed into more than just a part timer. JP was improving his bowling a few years back and even had his action remodeled to the Bhaji Singh lite, if he was given more opportunities to bowl he would have probably improved to the point where he can be relied on to be a part of the bowling attack rather than just a part timer. Like I mentioned below, the SA public are very harsh and even having a similar record to Ali would not be enough for him to not be labelled a quota pick.

  • Philip on July 11, 2017, 9:32 GMT

    Doesn't make much sense to compare bowling average between Duminy and Ali. SA will bowl Duminy when the track takes spin, Ali has to bowl for control a lot more. Ali has bowled 6800 balls in 38 matches, Duminy 2700 in 46 (Root even is 1400 in 54 matches). I actually agree that JPD is a useful bowler and should be bowled more but if Ali was used as sparingly, I reckon he would be around 30 avg. Duminy has always been a decent player but not one to be relied on too heavily. I guess life was easier when Kallis played..

  • abutle1030100 on July 11, 2017, 9:20 GMT

    @SEXYSTEVEN: I agree with alexk400... JP started the protege and had loads of chances not taken. Cook was dropped after a tenth of the chances but almost the same results, so where is the fairness? Then Cook should get one more chance too.. It's time to move on: it is bad enough to have an opening issue, we shouldn't willingly put ourselves into a continuation of the middle order issue as well!

  • shaunr0382006 on July 11, 2017, 8:29 GMT

    I hope that Duminy does the right thing and retire from test cricket but hopefully continues to play domestically and adds value to youngsters like Jason Smith at the Cobras.

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