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November 12, 2012
JP Duminy, the injured South Africa middle-order batsman, has wished his successor well for the rest of the tour of Australia. Duminy will be out of action for three to six months after rupturing his left Achilles' tendon and will be likely be replaced by either Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar or specialist wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile in the starting XI.
"I'd tell them to just to take the opportunity with both hands," Duminy said in Brisbane, where his surgery was deemed a success. "These sorts of opportunities don't come around often and you've got to make the most of them. They are quality players, they've proven themselves on the domestic scene and they definitely deserve their position. Whoever gets the opportunity, I'm sure they will do this team good."
Duminy's words of wisdom come from personal experience. He was handed a Test debut during South Africa's 2008-09 tour of Australia when Ashwell Prince broke his hand on the eve of the first Test. Duminy scored a half-century in South Africa's chase of 414 and followed it up with a 166 at the MCG to win the series.
His other chances have also come through injury to another player. In New Zealand, in March, Duminy made his Test comeback after Jacques Kallis was ruled out with a stiff neck. He responded with a century. In July, Duminy was handed a more regular spot when Mark Boucher had to retire after an eye injury and Duminy was named the No. 7 batsman. He scored a gritty 61 at Lord's in South Africa's rise to No. 1 in the world.
With his success, he understands a replacement could have the same experience but is hopeful of a comeback next year. "It is a bit of a setback for me but I've still got a long career ahead," he said. "I'm pretty positive about these things. Over the next four to six month months, it's about me putting in the hard work and making sure I come back to full strength. The last few months have been a really good part of my career and hopefully on my return, I can follow up on that."
Duminy was in a particularly purple patch after the tour of England, was fitter than he had ever been and recognised as a team-man by his colleagues. Such was the faith in his ability that he was going to be trusted to be the only spin option at the first Test at the Gabba, despite being a part-timer, as South Africa left out Imran Tahir.
He ended up playing no part in the match as the top-order batted out day one and he was injured in the after-play warm-downs. "It was a bit freakish," he said while recalling the incident. "I like to get out after a days' play and get the blood flowing in the legs a bit. A few of us were doing shuttles and some run through and unfortunately on one of the turns, I turned pretty quickly and the Achilles' snapped.
"Initially I thought a ball hit me on the back of the foot or somebody slapped me with something because I heard a bit of a click sound. But when I turned around and noticed nobody was behind me and I knew something was wrong."
Duminy was carried off the field by bowling coach Allan Donald and physiotherapist Brandon Jackson and taken to hospital immediately where X-rays revealed the extent of the injury. He was operated on on Saturday morning and released the next day. He is still in Brisbane and attended the fourth day's play but will return home to Cape Town over the weekend.
"I am feeling a bit more jetlagged than before actually," Duminy said. "But the surgery went well and the doctors were quite pleased with the way things went. Now, it's just about me getting used to a long recovery period."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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