The Proteas are hoping for a better performance in the second One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand at the Bay Oval in Tauranga on Thursday night (SA time).
JP Duminy, now a senior member of the squad, says that although the Proteas won comfortably in the opening match, there is still room for improvement going into the second match of the series on Friday.
‘It was a really good bowling performance,’ Duminy said on Wednesday. ‘If we are really hard on ourselves in any way, we could be better towards the backend, but that is a work in progress. We haven’t played together in five weeks so I guess it’s about finding out the areas where we can improve and that is probably the one area.
‘The batting went according to plan but in an ideal world you probably want to finish the match with only two or three wickets down. I’m obviously quite happy with the partnership that AB [de Villiers] and I put together. If we had lost another wicket the game would have been in the balance.’
A win in the second match will hand the Proteas a second consecutive series victory in New Zealand. Duminy realises, though, that it won’t be an easy task and spoke of the difficulties he faced while taking the Proteas home in the first encounter.
‘I’m very happy,’ said of his own performance in the first ODI. ‘It wasn’t the perfect innings but it was what was required. Scoring wasn’t very easy in the beginning, especially picking up singles, because of the way New Zealand go about their business in the field. The way we finished it off was probably the ideal way.
‘It’s a tick in their box, the way they go about their business in terms of their aggressive nature in the field,’ he admitted. ‘As a batter you always have that intimidated feeling if fielders are in
your face and I think that is what he [Brendon McCullum] is trying to employ there.
‘No matter what the situation of the game is, they are always trying to squeeze the batting side. You feel that sort of pressure when you are out in the middle, and you have to come up with ways to counter that.’