South Africa v India, 4th ODI, Port Elizabeth

Duminy is the real thing

JP Duminy's second successive half-century, both coming when South Africa were on the back foot, proves he is ready to take on responsibility in the middle order

Sidharth Monga at St George's Park

January 22, 2011

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Johan Botha and JP Duminy took South Africa to 265, South Africa v India, 4th ODI, Port Elizabeth, January 21, 2011
JP Duminy ran up and down the pitch 108 times during his innings © AFP

"JP jou lekker ding," read the big screen when JP Duminy extended his arms to play at a widish delivery, stroking it past mid-off for four to bring up his half-century. Lekker ding is an Afrikaans term that can be used in many contexts, but the closest translation in this case would be the "real thing". That was only Duminy's second boundary in an innings that not only rescued South Africa when a series defeat was staring them in the eye, but had also reached a strike-rate of a run a ball by its end.

Two games earlier, when Graeme Smith spoke of batsmen going for glory as opposed to knocking off a simple target, Duminy was one of the batsmen whom that could have applied to. The result then was a heart-breaking one-run defeat as many other players went for glory. Duminy has learnt his lesson since then, playing responsibly amid two middle-order collapses. His effort in Cape Town proved inadequate, but on Friday, his innings, full of hustled twos and ones, did the job.

It wasn't an easy pitch to bat on, with its slow nature and spongy bounce making stroke-play difficult. To add to that, South Africa were bent on running themselves out. It would have been easy to either get bogged down or try to hit out in panic. However, Duminy, along with Johan Botha first and Robin Peterson later, kept finding the gaps and pushing the fielders. With three pairs of dodgy legs in the Indian side, and a wicketkeeper fielding in the outfield, there was every chance they would wilt. Duminy made sure they did.

Duminy ran 43 singles and seven twos for himself, but while he was there, Botha took 14 singles and nine couples, and Peterson 19 singles. That makes it 108 laps of those 22 yards. "Guess it has always been a strength of ours, running well between the wickets," Duminy said later. "Keeping the intensity up. That was our main focus, making sure we keep getting our four or five runs an over, and try to take it as deep as possible, and cash in at the end."

That Duminy was at ease on the pitch showed from how he cut the first ball he faced wide enough of sweeper cover to come back for two. He used his feet well against Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, coming down the track often and chipping balls into gaps. Last year, when he went to India, against a similar attack, he scored 9, 0, 6 and 0 in the four innings he got over the Tests and one-dayers. Personally, it must be satisfying for him to get three half-centuries against the same team in a home series, two of those in wins. Duminy puts it down to the work he has done in the off season.

"I will definitely take a lot of confidence out of these performances. Something I have worked on in the off season is playing well against offspin, and obviously the short ball. I am pretty happy where I am at the moment. Hopefully I can continue that into the World Cup."

Duminy's only forceful shot on Friday, before he reached the half-century, came off a long hop from Munaf Patel, pulled between Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra in the deep. He targeted his fielders well, often running after hitting straight to Munaf inside the ring, and always putting pressure on either of the fast bowlers when they were in the deep. And Duminy can run, and he found two willing partners in Botha and Peterson.

If you were to look back at the innings, you wouldn't immediately remember even a single shot that stood out, except for the pulled six in the final over. In that regard this ding wasn't quite lekker, which, in original Dutch, is often used synonymously with tasty, luscious, or hot. In South Africa, though, the connotation becomes broader, and can easily include anything cool, good, or as in Duminy's case today, the real thing. Pretty damn lekker.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by PROTEAFAN on (January 23, 2011, 16:54 GMT)

Duminy's back to his best after a woeful run of bad form last year, and I expect him to go from strength to strength. He is the type of player who can adapt his game to the situation, working the ball around for one's and two's or attacking with boundaries if needed. He is a wonderful fielder, and a very decent spinner, though Smith doesn't really seem to think so given how sparingly he is used. I predict he will have a good World Cup, given his ablity to play with soft hands and his growing prowess against spin, as demonstrated in this series. His fortunes will be key to SA's progress in the competition, as he brings experience and balance to the side.

Posted by mahjut on (January 22, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

ok SamRoy - it initially seemed like another post in the same vein as: "India would have won if they'd batted first" or "if not D/L, India would have fancied their chances of 7 an over". SA have played this series too. Not just that but they're ranked lower and home has not been their castle for a few years now so I thinkthey deserve recognition. I think - and as a teamless fan, these are my two teams, though I favour SA when they play each other - if Kohli had been given his own article in this context I'd have been disappointed for JP. I'm seriously looking forward to watching Kohli play tests (my favorite form) and am sure it will happen!! As for JP, and other posters criticisms of his technique vs offies - I think someone as good as JP, who seems to have overcome the hype he was exposed to post-Oz, will deal with it (in the same way that KP manages to maintain respect despite falling to sla bowlers). time will tell - but i'm hoping he irons that out!

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 14:43 GMT)

I am a South African, but I must say the Virat Kohli looks like the real deal. I don't understand how India gets it's selections wrong so often. I know you have issues with favourites being selected, or players with reputations rather than good form, but seriously if you had the selections right India would dominate world cricket. You all talk about the many Indian players who should be playing here, but in contrast South African have maybe only 2 or 3 others outside their WC squad who are good enough to make our team. Your problem is not playing talent, its administration.

Why is this article about Duminy and not Kohli? 2 reasons: First, SA won this game and Duminy played the pivotal innings that won it. Second, Kohli is seen as the next superstar to replace the likes of Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid........but Duminy is ALREADY required to perform as a regular, so lets give him his due for a change.

Not EVERY article has to be about an Indian player. Please keep the bias out.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 14:41 GMT)

he's the same duminy ...who was EASIEST target for offies..Swann in SA and Bhajji in with one and half good innings he is reffered to as the MAN... perhaps siddarth moonga is also another Sanjay manjrekar ...who'll eat his words once his the MAN comes to sub continent

Posted by SamRoy on (January 22, 2011, 13:40 GMT)

And now @mahjut I should write why I wrote about Virat, what I wrote. This innings might pave the way for Virat to give him the confidence required to become a world class batsman (and I hope a great one) just like the ODI hundred did for Gambhir against Australia in Australia exactly 3 years ago. Yet such a significant innings didn't get a column from Cricinfo whereas Yusuf's slogging got one. But I guess even when you play a brilliant innings and end on the loosing side it's not highlighted. Such is the reality. Well I don't like that and I will raise my voice when I feel something is not right. But then someone has the right to say what I think is not right. Freedom of speech.

Posted by Hindh on (January 22, 2011, 13:33 GMT)

What an innings by Kohli under pressure and under lights just great!!!!! Had india won the toss the series wud have over...3-1 to india..

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 11:52 GMT)

Lekker is not a Dutch word it is borrowed from German which means tasty (as you said)

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (January 22, 2011, 11:37 GMT)

Duminy was a treat to watch. I expect he will impress at the World Cup. On a different note, excuse some fellow Indian fans for being fanatically one eyed about their team. My dad is one! o dear.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 22, 2011, 11:32 GMT)

Well @mahjut thanks for clearing that up mate! I never care much about the results of some ODI match India plays but rather look at the broader perspective. Just because Yusuf played a match winning innings against SA doesn't make him a good batsman. He was a hitter then and he is a hitter now! No less, no more. Probably slightly more judicious in his strokeplay, that's all. Same could be said of Justin Kemp and Klusener the batsman (he did show early promise as a bowler before fading away). I really don't care about how he plays. For Virat, Rahane and to some extent Rohit I care. Because I believe they are the future of India's test team. And my intention was never to berate any fan or expert in cricinfo. It never was and never will be. Goes against my personal beliefs. Last thing I want is to look at other's faults when I have plenty of them myself.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (January 22, 2011, 10:13 GMT)

Virat Kohli is the next Brian Lara; no doubt about that. He can defend against very aggressive bowling like Tendulkar but he can also find boundaries against quality bowlers even if the field is spread; Tendulkar did not manage to do it frequently. In his prime in almost every century except for one or two against Oz Tendulkar killed India's chances by moving to 100 from 50 very slowly; he was adament about opening the innings; he never believed he could contribute if asked to bat lowere down the order; but Kohli can do it. Kohli is a captain material but India should not make him captain before the 2023 WC. He should play for India as its Premier Batsman.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 10:04 GMT)

People should have waited for the articles on Virat Kohli to come up instead of discussing him in a article belonging to Duminy who played a match winning innings.Some fans have lost the plot completely.Duminy has played well against the spinners even though he is susceptible to quality off spin bowling.He still doesn't look the part as predicted by Ian Chappel but a good player nonetheless.His off spin can also be a bit handy on the slow pitches in the WC.De villiers and Duminy are the ones to watch out for South Africa.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 9:45 GMT)

The article is about solid batting by Duminy... Confused with most of the ppl here commenting about Indian players rather than saying a word or two relevant to the subject..

Posted by DonkieHoed on (January 22, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

I really enjoy the Indian cricket team here in SA; challenging, fun, spicy....... their fans however, ugh. You'd swear the SA team had NOTHING to do with the game lol.

Posted by mahjut on (January 22, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

oh, and SamRoy. just for your viewing pleasure. go to the bulletin on the Match that SA won - titled something like; "Duminy wins it for SA") and you will see a nice big picture of Kohli as the centre-piece ;) (albeit on the side:)) those partially-sighted (like Dhoni) for whom the title would be readable but the article not, would have to suppose that Kholi is Duminy...

Posted by mahjut on (January 22, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

SamRoy. of course you want to have your youngsters talked about and Kohli did play well - though cricket can be both cruel and kind and technically sound as he was he had three chances which on another day...who knows. I actually sent in an email during the game to observe his calm skill and he probably is equally deserving of his own article - he'll have many in his time, no doubt! I think there are many reasons India didn't win the test series - as there are for SA not winning it but India didn't lose yesterday due to Dohni and SA couldn't have won it without Duminy. If Kohli just emerged yesterday (and obviously he didn't - he's been in good touch throughout the ODI series) then; one ODI innings will not a test spot guarantee!! Personally, I am really pleased for (a VERY talented) JP - after Oz, he's been coming to grips with the fact that he'll probably never reach those heights again - he lost it a bit while trying to force it but this series show glimpses of maturity & the talent

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 8:49 GMT)

I don't think the writer has seen the Game of Virat Kohli under the pressure. Let me tell you something Mr.Whoever you are, what kind of Bowling attack does India have when compared to SA ,that too in SA. I would say Duminy is OK, but Virat's at best. He didn't care whoever the bowler was, he just kept on scoring. To be frank, That was the real thing. He attacked one of the world's best bowling attack in dangerous conditions with an utter ease.

Posted by justk on (January 22, 2011, 8:22 GMT)

now even dhoni shld whine, you take out these moments and we are 3-1 up...the fact is that this victory of SA was not convinving.. and the same could have got repeated in indian innings which happened during the sa innings...same position, not much difference between the runs and the balls, and virat kohili, he did produce blinder of an innings, i hope that tomorrow he really continues the good work and earns man of the series award, and also wish that india plays well for one last time in this series as they have been playing in this summer

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (January 22, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

Now there is sufficient evidence of Virat Kohli's technique and fighting qualities. Persisting further with Dravid in the test team (or Raina) would be a crime.

Posted by INIDAN_Nandi on (January 22, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

I think now selectors must immediately show the door to mr.rohit sharma, he has got enough chances compared to others.. he is not making use of given chances. Now he should be thrown out of team, they must replace him by pandey,uthappa ,tiwary and rahane... Vijay ,parthiv and rohit even raina must be dropped

Posted by Rony312 on (January 22, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

Why can't we just Keep-things simple and continue the game the next day from where we left off......For WC games I wish points r shared in case of a wash out siutation instead of using a stupid D/L system..Even last time it was foolishly applied for the WC finals which was nothing but pityful.... The only good thing for India as far i see from yesterday was Virat Kohli's an excellent knock !! The Indian Selectors shud be bold enuf to drop Yuvi or Raina as apprpriate to include Virat in such good form...Else we can clearly say that the whole selection process is a 'NATAK' and its Currency that dictates over Capability.....

Posted by kapilesh23 on (January 22, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

this is the difference win or loss can make .now SA won so there is a article on duminy but there was also virat kohli who played so well for india .but he is not mentioned anywere on the website .this is first one day series for virat kohli in SA but the way he is performing will give a sigh of relief for all indian fans .here is a man on his first tour playing so well were even greats like sachin ,rahul performed badly in one day series's of the past .I really think that he should in the world cup squad .

Posted by candyfloss on (January 22, 2011, 7:19 GMT)

The ICC seriously needs to look at venues like this one where the lights are really bad and chasing under the lights is next to impossible.I am really happy to know that the last one is a day game.SA have been really lucky to be batting first most of the time and bowling under lights.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

Where would an article be praising someone who played well against India without fanboys clogging up the comments about their own players.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 6:02 GMT)

Well I acknowledge the part Duminy played and also the partnership with Peterson had been the game changing one...Poor onfield tactics by Dhoni who didnt bowl out Yuvraj completely who had taken 3 wickets in 8 overs n persisting with zaheer n munaf though they were goin fr runs did not suffice..ashish nehra who for the first time in last 5 matches looked a slightly better completely only 6 overs with 1 wicket to his credit...Y Ashish Nehra wasnt used is still a Mystery to me based on the past record of last matches..but we see current performance isnt it???Btw the entire batting collapse dint help either..Virat played a gem of an innings but I would have wanted rain to come after he got a century...He really deserved it but rain spoilt it..may be we could have also lost even if there had been no rain,but I wantes to se the fight frm Virat and Harbhajan..n thanks to D/L method.we lost by 48 runs only otherwise the margin would have been bigger..:)

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

Well played JP... Reminds me of Michael Bevan..

Posted by SamRoy on (January 22, 2011, 5:37 GMT)

Sid, praise Duminy as much as you want (and he did play very well) but I think the only real thing that emerged out of the match was Kohli. On a pitch where the ball was not coming on to the bat plus there was seam movement (both ways) and tennis ball bounce for Morkel and loads of spin for Botha and Peterson, Virat played the most technically correct innings I have seen from a young Indian batsman in ODIs in trying conditions in a long time (better than Gambhir's hundred vs Australia in 2008) and probably the best since Dravid's vs SA in 1996-97. True it didn't swing for Steyn after his first spell but both Tsotsobe and Steyn bowled well. Now if Dhoni (one of the main reasons why we didn't win the test series was his defensive field settings when SA were 130/6) and Srikkanth doesn't pick Kohli in the test squad I will think they are blind (and partial) as well.

Posted by Tjoeps on (January 22, 2011, 5:27 GMT)

Good article, well written. Very nice to see Duminy grow up over the last few games, he has got buckets of talent and can have a brilliant career in all forms of cricket. Hy is 'n moerse lekker ding!

Posted by   on (January 22, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

Virat kohli is the real thing mate !!! what an innings easily the best in this ODI series !!

Posted by maddy20 on (January 22, 2011, 5:08 GMT)

The D/L method is a disaster in itself. India facing an already uphill task were given a target of 260 in 46 overs. Just 6 runs cut off and 4 overs. The required run rate jumped from 6.9 to 8.48. It only did not matter because the match was abandoned. Otherwise India would have fancied their chances scoring at 7 an over with Kohli and the attacking Bhajji at the crease. I wish it won't rain during WC Duckworth(less) system does not play any role in key matches

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