A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Duminy thanks Kirsten for Test return

Duminy is trying to revive his Test career after failing to capitalise on the excellent start he made earlier in his career

South African batsman, Jean Paul Duminy, has expressed his gratitude to Gary Kirsten, the coach of the country’s national team, for helping him make his return to international cricket after a two year absence.

Duminy, feels that Kirsten’s continuous behind the scenes support, helped make him into a better player and change his fortunes for the better.

Speaking exclusively to The Telegraph, Duminy, said: “I’d worked with Gary a few years back when he was the High Performance coach of South Africa. So he’s not a sort of stranger to me. I’ve enjoyed working with him thus far… To be fair, at the international level, there’s not many technical issues that you sort out… It’s more about chalking out gameplans and working on the mental aspect.”

Duminy, also noted that Kirsten worked wonders when he was the coach of India, and now feels truly humbled to have the opportunity to work with him.

“Gary’s man management is awesome… If you talk to any Indian player that he has worked with, that will be the first thing that will come out from them. The way he goes about managing his players and his honesty within the group is phenomenal,” Duminy said.

Duminy, was had been struggling to make his international Test comeback for a while before the New Zealand tour earlier in the year, also said: “I’ve gained a lot… He’s accompanied by Paddy Upton, who’s the mental conditioning coach… I’ve worked with him too in the past and have a good relationship with both. So it’s definitely benefited me in the last couple of months.”

In his career, Duminy has only represented South Africa in 13 Tests, since he failed to live up to the outstanding start he made in December 2008, where he scored his maiden century.

“I started off with a bang, but took the downturn unfortunately. After missing Test cricket for two years, I got another opportunity only last month. Hopefully it’s not the last, although there’s no certainty I’ll be playing the next Test. The top-six are stable in the Test side. I’ve to wait for the right opportunity again and then grab it with both hands,” he said.

Duminy, however stated that he would always keep a positive mind and grasp any opportunity to play Test cricket again.

“It’s a matter of time of getting an opportunity in Tests. It came with an injury to Jacques Kallis… That’s the way it is… I’d started my Test career after an injury to Ashwell Prince. I guess it’s going to take one of those situations again for me to get a show… Not entirely in my hands, but I should utilise the opportunities well,” he said.

Duminy, also added that he does not see himself anywhere near ready to replace Kallis, saying: “It was just a case of filling in for someone else… I can’t see myself replacing Kallis. Didn’t think about too many things in Wellington and just played my natural game.”

Duminy added that he does not see himself as a specialist in the one day format, and said that he adapted to the shorter versions of the game since he was naturally good at it.

“I don’t see myself that way… If I’m honest, I see myself in totally the opposite way… I’ve customised myself in playing one-day cricket because that is where I’ve done well… Ideally I’d love to bat up the order, but with the top-four settled in the one-day team, I’ve to sort of play according to situations as to being a finisher,” he stated.

But, Duminy admitted that his self confidence has taken a hit since he was left out of the Test squad, saying: ““It took a bit of a confidence knock.”

However, there is no argument that Jean Paul Duminy can be the next greatest cricketer South Africa have seen in a while, and he is ready to prove state his case in all three formats of the game.

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