Pakistan v South Africa 2013-14 October 4, 2013

Duminy set to make a Test comeback

17

JP Duminy is set to regain his Test place after 11 months as South Africa embark on a two-Test series against Pakistan. Duminy spent six months recovering from a ruptured Achilles' tendon and after a successful one-day return, has been given a vote of confidence from the national coach to make a Test comeback as well.

"How we've worked is that when a player has a spot and he gets injured, once he is fit again, he will regain his spot. I think that's only fair," Russell Domingo, South Africa's coach said ahead of the squad's departure. "I very much see JP being in the starting XI."

Duminy had previously spent two years out of the Test team following a loss of form after creating a stir with a 50 and unbeaten 166 against Australia in his first two matches. He returned against New Zealand in March 2012 and scored a century and also played an important role in South Africa's win against England at Lord's last June which gave them the Test mace.

He could play no part in their victory over Australia because of his injury. Faf du Plessis took his spot and impressed with a match-saving century in Adelaide. That would mean the likely loser from Duminy's return would be Dean Elgar, who replaced Jacques Rudolph and, apart from a century against New Zealand, has not made the spot his own.

Following an extensive rehabilitation period, Duminy returned to action during the Champions Trophy in June this year. He scored an unbeaten 150 before the tournament during a warm-up against the Netherlands, had a lean run through the competition but had one innings of 97 in the ODI series in Sri Lanka, which South Africa lost 4-1. He has also become a significant contributor with the ball, sending down 36.2 overs of offspin in the five matches.

Duminy's potential as an allrounder is what South Africa are hoping to use to their advantage in the UAE. "With JP back in the mix, whether we need to play a second spinner still needs to be debated," Domingo said.

Conditions are expected to be conducive to turn - given that was how Pakistan got the better of the last No.1 side to tour the UAE, England - and South Africa have included two specialist spinners in their squad. Robin Peterson is the incumbent but they have also brought back Pakistani-born legspinner Imran Tahir, who played 11 Tests but was dropped after conceding 260 runs without taking a wicket in Adelaide.

Peterson has had some success, most notably with five wickets in a match against Pakistan in Cape Town, but Tahir's attacking ability were thought to create a tough contest between the two for a spot. Domingo confirmed he would allow Peterson to start before turning to Tahir. "At the moment, I still feel Robbie is the guy. He has made some contributions," he said. "You are always going to take two spinners to the subcontinent but Imran has to do something special to knock the door down."

The rest of the line-up will retain its familiar look with Graeme Smith fully recovered from ankle surgery to lead the team and open the batting. Domingo indicated he would continue with the seven batsmen and three seamers strategy that was used under Gary Kirsten. "I would be a fool to go in there and make drastic changes," he said. "There might be one change in terms of personnel but the balance of the side will stay pretty much the same."

That one change would be Duminy's return but Elgar need not despair yet. There is a chance he will feature in the series after all because South Africa may have to do without Hashim Amla for the second Test. The No.3 batsman and his wife, Sumayya, are expecting their second child to be born "some time after the first Test" according to team manager Mohammad Moosajee.

Amla will leave Dubai as soon as the match is done and "depending on when the baby arrives", a decision will be made on his availability for the second match. There is a four-day turnaround between games and if Amla does not make it back in time, Elgar, who has batted in the top-order for most of his career, could assume the spot.

Everyone else in the South African squad is fit. Dale Steyn has recovered from the assortment of injuries that plagued him at the Champions Trophy. Rory Kleinveldt's toe laceration has healed and Wayne Parnell's heart issue has also been sorted out.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 8, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    SA has got serious batting line-up its very much what pakistan cricket was like back in 98 with wasim,shoaib,waqar,saeed,inzimam-ul-haq ,younis ,yousuf ....etc its pretty strong batting & bowling line-up what SA has really. However there's one weak point of SA cricket i just hope pakistan team succeed in exploiting that well on pitch then i can see the ray of hope for win god willing. Until then the wait continues to watch Test Series against NO1 Side atm... :)

  • DeckChairand6pack on October 7, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    JP is incredibly talented and has untold potential. The team and selectors have done all they can to give him every chance to succeed..., or to fail. And now it's time for JP to start repaying some of that faith, and I remain sanguine that we will.

  • Shazy777 on October 5, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    @pitch_curator for your kind info duminy is the leading run scorer for S.A in SL tour...!!! He is better batsman then Dean Elgar...!!

  • Shazy777 on October 5, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    @ Slevin7 yup i agree with you... jp is the batting allrounder... a specialist batsman who can handy wihe the ball as well...

  • Gareth_Bain on October 5, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    It's a real pity that he (and the other members of the squad too) could not have played a few Sunfoil Series games before embarking. Unfortunately, our domestic season is being upset by the pointless CLT20 (yawn)

  • pitch_curator on October 5, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Duminy has done nothing after coming back. And he looks very suspect against off spinners.

  • Slevin7 on October 5, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Shazy777 I like your starting XI. Duminy is firstly a specialist bat though...

  • on October 5, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    All the sons of Peters are international cricketers: Robin, Alviro, Kevin ? Any more? Like the Akmal family?

  • philvic on October 5, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    I agree that Domingo should not be having these ruminations in public. It is unfair to the players and unprofessional. I am starting to miss Kirsten even more.

  • jimbond on October 5, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    With Duminy in, SA's batting will be easily the world's best. Amla, Kallis, ABD, and Duminy- constitute the best middleorder. With Duplessis and Smith also , contributing, it is even stronger. I am not sure that Peterson belongs at the top of the order. Even Robin Peterson as a spinner is not convincing- even Tahir for that matter. No harm in testing Phangiso- though he is currently seen more as a limited overs option. Using David Wiese in the middle order in some games would lessen the blow of Kallis's retirement. For the opening slot, I guess Rossouw would be a better option in place of Peterson.

  • on October 8, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    SA has got serious batting line-up its very much what pakistan cricket was like back in 98 with wasim,shoaib,waqar,saeed,inzimam-ul-haq ,younis ,yousuf ....etc its pretty strong batting & bowling line-up what SA has really. However there's one weak point of SA cricket i just hope pakistan team succeed in exploiting that well on pitch then i can see the ray of hope for win god willing. Until then the wait continues to watch Test Series against NO1 Side atm... :)

  • DeckChairand6pack on October 7, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    JP is incredibly talented and has untold potential. The team and selectors have done all they can to give him every chance to succeed..., or to fail. And now it's time for JP to start repaying some of that faith, and I remain sanguine that we will.

  • Shazy777 on October 5, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    @pitch_curator for your kind info duminy is the leading run scorer for S.A in SL tour...!!! He is better batsman then Dean Elgar...!!

  • Shazy777 on October 5, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    @ Slevin7 yup i agree with you... jp is the batting allrounder... a specialist batsman who can handy wihe the ball as well...

  • Gareth_Bain on October 5, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    It's a real pity that he (and the other members of the squad too) could not have played a few Sunfoil Series games before embarking. Unfortunately, our domestic season is being upset by the pointless CLT20 (yawn)

  • pitch_curator on October 5, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Duminy has done nothing after coming back. And he looks very suspect against off spinners.

  • Slevin7 on October 5, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Shazy777 I like your starting XI. Duminy is firstly a specialist bat though...

  • on October 5, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    All the sons of Peters are international cricketers: Robin, Alviro, Kevin ? Any more? Like the Akmal family?

  • philvic on October 5, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    I agree that Domingo should not be having these ruminations in public. It is unfair to the players and unprofessional. I am starting to miss Kirsten even more.

  • jimbond on October 5, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    With Duminy in, SA's batting will be easily the world's best. Amla, Kallis, ABD, and Duminy- constitute the best middleorder. With Duplessis and Smith also , contributing, it is even stronger. I am not sure that Peterson belongs at the top of the order. Even Robin Peterson as a spinner is not convincing- even Tahir for that matter. No harm in testing Phangiso- though he is currently seen more as a limited overs option. Using David Wiese in the middle order in some games would lessen the blow of Kallis's retirement. For the opening slot, I guess Rossouw would be a better option in place of Peterson.

  • SurlyCynic on October 4, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    I agree that Duminy should be selected ahead of Elgar, due to his talent, what he has achieved in the past, and his useful bowling. Where I disagree (slightly) with the author is the downplaying of Elgar's batting contributions compared to Duminy. The reality is they are very similar - one century each against NZ, and a couple of other decent innings. Neither has set the world alight recently, but I would still pick Duminy for everything he brings to the team.

    I don't really understand why Domingo is making statements about Peterson over Tahir, etc. Surely this should be sorted out behind closed doors and after looking at the pitch. If the pitches are really turning (like the Pak v Eng series in the UAE) then I would go with Tahir, if they are like the last SA tour there then I might consider Peterson, but with Duminy at 7 and bowling some spin I would generally prefer the more attacking spinner, which is Tahir.

  • landl47 on October 4, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    England went to the UAE having played no cricket at all for months. They bowled well, but the batsmen couldn't do the fairly easy job required of them. Once they found a bit of form, England won the ODIs 4-0 and the T20s 2-1. If SA are better prepared than England were, they should win pretty easily. Pakistan's batting is woeful; it depends entirely on Misbah, now 39, and Younus, 35. Even without a top class spinner SA should knock them over without any trouble. Pakistan has some decent bowlers, but how they get enough runs to threaten SA I have no idea.

  • on October 4, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    Tough decision for Domingo. England's gamble with Panesar paid off in the four tests in India. The gamble in this case would be go to Tahir and drop Petersen. Keeping Petersen is also a risk with his economy rates but saying that he is also no mug with the bat. The scorecard says SA win the series 2-0 but Ajmal has been known to make it interesting. Moreover SA have not played test cricket is the subcontinent for quite a while now. Duminy will play a huge role is SA winning this series no doubt with his all round abilities. I'm excited to see the quality of the pitch and how SA plays in a similar spot where England found themselves toiling away at the mercy of Ajmal 2 years ago

  • i-s-r-a-r on October 4, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    This will be an incredible XI. Smith, petersen, amla, kallis, devilliers, faf du, duminy, peterson, philander, steyn and morkel.

  • CricketChat on October 4, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    JPD should be playing in the formats for SA based on his current form.

  • on October 4, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    It will be an incredible 11.

    Graeme Smith Alviro Pietersen Hashim Amla Jack Kallis Ab Devilliers Faf Du Plessis JP Duminy Robin Petersen Vernon Philander Morne Morkel Dale Styne It bats deep up to 9. 3 front line pacer + Jack Kallis. Petersen and Duminy the spinners. Du plessis is also an option. This site is not beatable.

  • Shazy777 on October 4, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Duminy deserve the chance... he is also handy with the bat... i think S.A will go with tahir if they played one specialist spinner... my playing x1 smith, petersen, amla, kallis, ab, jp, duplessis, petersen, phlinder, styen, tahir...

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Shazy777 on October 4, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Duminy deserve the chance... he is also handy with the bat... i think S.A will go with tahir if they played one specialist spinner... my playing x1 smith, petersen, amla, kallis, ab, jp, duplessis, petersen, phlinder, styen, tahir...

  • on October 4, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    It will be an incredible 11.

    Graeme Smith Alviro Pietersen Hashim Amla Jack Kallis Ab Devilliers Faf Du Plessis JP Duminy Robin Petersen Vernon Philander Morne Morkel Dale Styne It bats deep up to 9. 3 front line pacer + Jack Kallis. Petersen and Duminy the spinners. Du plessis is also an option. This site is not beatable.

  • CricketChat on October 4, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    JPD should be playing in the formats for SA based on his current form.

  • i-s-r-a-r on October 4, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    This will be an incredible XI. Smith, petersen, amla, kallis, devilliers, faf du, duminy, peterson, philander, steyn and morkel.

  • on October 4, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    Tough decision for Domingo. England's gamble with Panesar paid off in the four tests in India. The gamble in this case would be go to Tahir and drop Petersen. Keeping Petersen is also a risk with his economy rates but saying that he is also no mug with the bat. The scorecard says SA win the series 2-0 but Ajmal has been known to make it interesting. Moreover SA have not played test cricket is the subcontinent for quite a while now. Duminy will play a huge role is SA winning this series no doubt with his all round abilities. I'm excited to see the quality of the pitch and how SA plays in a similar spot where England found themselves toiling away at the mercy of Ajmal 2 years ago

  • landl47 on October 4, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    England went to the UAE having played no cricket at all for months. They bowled well, but the batsmen couldn't do the fairly easy job required of them. Once they found a bit of form, England won the ODIs 4-0 and the T20s 2-1. If SA are better prepared than England were, they should win pretty easily. Pakistan's batting is woeful; it depends entirely on Misbah, now 39, and Younus, 35. Even without a top class spinner SA should knock them over without any trouble. Pakistan has some decent bowlers, but how they get enough runs to threaten SA I have no idea.

  • SurlyCynic on October 4, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    I agree that Duminy should be selected ahead of Elgar, due to his talent, what he has achieved in the past, and his useful bowling. Where I disagree (slightly) with the author is the downplaying of Elgar's batting contributions compared to Duminy. The reality is they are very similar - one century each against NZ, and a couple of other decent innings. Neither has set the world alight recently, but I would still pick Duminy for everything he brings to the team.

    I don't really understand why Domingo is making statements about Peterson over Tahir, etc. Surely this should be sorted out behind closed doors and after looking at the pitch. If the pitches are really turning (like the Pak v Eng series in the UAE) then I would go with Tahir, if they are like the last SA tour there then I might consider Peterson, but with Duminy at 7 and bowling some spin I would generally prefer the more attacking spinner, which is Tahir.

  • jimbond on October 5, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    With Duminy in, SA's batting will be easily the world's best. Amla, Kallis, ABD, and Duminy- constitute the best middleorder. With Duplessis and Smith also , contributing, it is even stronger. I am not sure that Peterson belongs at the top of the order. Even Robin Peterson as a spinner is not convincing- even Tahir for that matter. No harm in testing Phangiso- though he is currently seen more as a limited overs option. Using David Wiese in the middle order in some games would lessen the blow of Kallis's retirement. For the opening slot, I guess Rossouw would be a better option in place of Peterson.

  • philvic on October 5, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    I agree that Domingo should not be having these ruminations in public. It is unfair to the players and unprofessional. I am starting to miss Kirsten even more.

  • on October 5, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    All the sons of Peters are international cricketers: Robin, Alviro, Kevin ? Any more? Like the Akmal family?