Rejuvenated Duminy key to Proteas' World Cup title bid

The Sri Lanka ODI series win has seen the rebirth of JP Duminy, who has showed everyone why the Proteas' management showed faith in him during a time when he wasn’t producing the desired results.

Proteas star JP Duminy in action. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Sri Lanka ODI series win has seen the rebirth of JP Duminy, who has showed everyone why the Proteas' management showed faith in him during a time when he wasn’t producing the desired results.

The Proteas won the ODI series 3-2 and they had already wrapped up the five-match series within the first three games and in convincing fashion, winning the first ODI by five wickets, the second by four and the third by a spectacular 78 runs.

In those three ODI’s, Duminy rolled back the years and added a new dimension to his game that was critical in South Africa clinching the series with two games to spare.

In the first ODI at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, the left-hander scored an impressive 53 off just 32 balls in a tricky low score run chase. What was particularly impressive about that innings was his calm yet aggressive approach to the Sri Lankan spinners, especially in light of the performance the Proteas batsman had put up against a turning ball during the 2-0 Test series defeat a week before.

Though scoring only 32 in the second ODI, the innings gave the Proteas' chase of 244 for victory much-needed impetus and laid the platform for the young duo of Andile Phehlukwayo and Wian Mulder to finish off the job. His measly figures of 7 overs for 30 runs were also critical in restricting the Sri Lankan innings to an eventual gettable target.

His 92 off 70 was probably the highlight of the tour, outside of Reeza Hendricks’ brilliant debut 102. That innings was mixed with great skill and power hitting and he was certainly unlucky to register his fifth ODI hundred.

Duminy’s man of the series performances in Sri Lanka bodes well for South Africa’s hopes of winning a Cricket World Cup title.

With just under 20 ODI’s left for the Proteas before the start of the World Cup in the United Kingdom in 2019, there is no better time for Duminy to find the sort of form that can help balance the ODI lineup and put in the kind of match-winning performances that can aid Faf du Plessis’ men get their hands on that elusive World Cup trophy.