Duminy has recipe for success

Friday, 2 September 2011

NESTLED between the scenic Overberg mountains, surrounded by lush green fields, the quaint Elgin Valley is a canvas of splendour. Its aesthetic beauty is something to behold, comparable to JP Duminy’s glorious cover drive when in full flow.
Duminy is currently absorbing all this natural beauty while in camp with the Proteas, who have spent the past week at a nearby Kleinmond hotel preparing for the forthcoming season.
Part of the Proteas’ preparation between the many workshops with mental conditioning consultant Paddy Upton, and acclimatising themselves with the new management group headed by World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten was a “meet and greet” with former South African cricketers.
One of the former Proteas who were invited was former all-rounder Adrian Kuiper. The drive to the hotel for Kuiper is, of course, a short one for the Elgin apple farmer, who during his heyday from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s ensured the valley was renowned for more just than its golden produce.
“I just had to chat to Kuips, he played a lot of one-day cricket, and was especially explosive at the back-end of the innings where I bat for the Proteas in ODI cricket,” Duminy said Thursday. “I am not a natural finisher, which I told him, and have really had to adapt my game to the necessary requirements of my role, but saying that, I think I had a fairly successful limited-overs season last year, and now it is about consistency.”
Duminy’s game is not based on power, like Kuiper’s was, but instead one built on touch and exquisite timing, although he does have the ability to clear the boundary with effortless ease when the need arises.
This technique has worked well for the left-hander in limited-overs cricket, where he boasts a career average of 41, but has not yet fully delivered on the promise he has shown since a teenager and fleetingly produced at Melbourne in 2008 in the Test arena.
“Yeah, that was definitely something I was spoken to about a few times by a host of former players. That I have maybe not lived up to my full potential, especially in Test cricket. I don’t see it like that yet. Of course I miss being out of the Test side, very much in fact, but I am now 27, and with the one-day and Twenty20 stuff going well, I think I am well poised to play a further eight years of international cricket and really make my stamp on the game when the opportunity arises,” he said.
After a longer-than-usual break, where weddings, including Duminy’s, were very much in vogue within the Proteas team, South Africa have a congested season ahead, with arch-rivals Australia looming large on the horizon.
Duminy may not be part of the Test XI at the moment, but there’s no debate that South Africa will need the Capetonian in-form and raring to go when the solitary T20 and the one-day series kicks off next month.
“I go to the Champions League with the Cobras next week, and that is ideal preparation for the limited-over series against the Aussies,” Duminy added.
“I am also looking forward to working with Gary. He is a left-hander like me, and in the past, our coaches were mostly former bowlers, and it’s great to have Gary on board who I can bounce things off.
“Paddy Upton has also been working with the team this week, and I personally have tried to lots of mental analysis with him, not only to improve myself as a cricketer, but as a person.”


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