Batsman JP Duminy has highlighted South Africa’s need for versatility through a tough World Cup campaign, which will continue with a challenging fixture against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
The Proteas batsmen weathered a fragile start to the tournament, slipping to a precarious 83 for four before recovering to a triumphant total of 339 for four on the back of fine centuries from Duminy and fellow left-hander David Miller last week.
The pair’s characteristically collective aggression was initially curbed, to ensure the early fall of quartet Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers was successfully negotiated, before plenty of attacking shot selection and stroke play came to the fore. The 30-year-old Duminy finished with 125 not out and the 25-year-old Miller unbeaten on 138 – in an unbroken alliance of 256.
‘It is about adapting and making sure you have different sets of skills for different situations. These are the things we talk about in team and batters meetings and we try to execute them. Sunday was a good showcase of our skills, especially myself and David. We are enjoying batting together and we complement each other well,’ said Duminy.
‘I thoroughly enjoyed it. I guess we don’t want to find ourselves in that position again, especially in the knockout stages, but it’s good to get an innings like that under the belt, coming in under pressure. We needed to make a play and to soak up the pressure that was there. It was a good opportunity to find my feet and to understand what is needed in certain situations.’
The Indians are the reigning World Cup champions, having defeated sub-continental neighbours Sri Lanka in the 2011 final, and are currently ranked a mere two points above third-placed South Africa in the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings.
‘All of us are excited ahead of Sunday’s game. To play in that sort of arena, it doesn’t happen often that you get to play in front of so many people. The MCG is a ground that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing at and hopefully I will be given an opportunity to do something special again,’ concluded Duminy.