Castle Lager Proteas all-rounder, JP Duminy, is “pleased” with his new-found batting role at number three. Duminy was shifted up the order as one of coach, Russell Domingo’s, changes to the ODI set-up, and adapted with apparent ease during the warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Board President’s XI on Wednesday when he scored 92.
“ I’m pleased with that role to be honest,” Duminy said after the Proteas’ warm-up match in Colombo. “I have always felt comfortable, especially in one-day cricket and shorter formats of the game batting higher up the order. I like to give myself a good chance of getting in and trying to dominate from there.
“Today was one of those perfect situations to do that, coming in in the tenth over, it gave me a chance to work myself in, then take charge towards the end.”
The left-hander says he doesn’t feel added pressure because of the absence of the experience of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. Alviro Petersen was brought in to open with Hashim Amla and contributed with a solid 43, with captain AB de Villiers firing a quick 40 at number four.
“ I don’t think we are lacking in experience,” he remarked. “Maybe Alviro hasn’t played a lot of one-day games but he does have a lot of experience batting for South Africa; that is to our benefit. Hashim obviously speaks for himself.
“I don’t feel any added responsibility on myself, I think the key is to be clear in terms of what my role is batting at three and to work towards my game-plans.”
The Proteas were convincing victors in sweltering conditions, but are aware that they will be facing stronger opposition under spin-friendly conditions.
“ The wicket was slightly invariable,” he said. “I’m not quite sure how it will play for the first match but I think it was a good challenge. There wasn’t a lot of turn which is probably the one thing that might be there (on Saturday), it will be about assessing early and playing accordingly.”