Duminy is hoping his replacement can have a positive impact over the next couple of months
Just a few days after sustaining his Achilles injury, South Africa batsman Jean Paul (JP) Duminy has advised his long-term successor to make an early impact on the team.
Faf du Plessis seemed to have taken Duminy’s advice seriously during his Test debut against Australia in Adelaide, scoring an outstanding century, which helped the Proteas secure a draw after looking in a very vulnerable position.
“I’d tell them to just to take the opportunity with both hands,” Duminy said. “These sorts of opportunities don’t come around often and you’ve got to make the most of them. They are quality players, they’ve proven themselves on the domestic scene and they definitely deserve their position. Whoever gets the opportunity, I’m sure they will do this team good.”
Duminy himself made his Test debut against during South Africa’s tour of Australia in 2008-2009 after batsman Ashwell Prince broke his hand on the eve of the first Test.
Duminy went on to score a half century during his debut and even followed it up with his maiden Test century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which allowed the Proteas to record an amazing series victory.
However, after that series, Duminy was only seen during South Africa’s limited overs matches and it wasn’t until March, when veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis was ruled out with a stiff neck, that Duminy made his Test return against New Zealand.
Duminy made yet another Test century upon his return to the longer format and in July, after wicketkeeper Mark Boucher’s career-ending freak eye injury against Somerset, the 28-year-old permanently secured his place in the Test squad.
Reports have confirmed that Duminy could be out for up to six months, but he believes that the chances of regaining his Test spot remain high.
“It is a bit of a setback for me but I’ve still got a long career ahead,” Duminy said. “I’m pretty positive about these things. Over the next four to six month months, it’s about me putting in the hard work and making sure I come back to full strength. The last few months have been a really good part of my career and hopefully on my return, I can follow up on that.”
The 28-year-old sustained his injury on the first day of the first Test at Brisbane doing post-match warmdown drills.
“It was a bit freakish,” Duminy recalled. “I like to get out after a days’ play and get the blood flowing in the legs a bit. A few of us were doing shuttles and some run through and unfortunately on one of the turns, I turned pretty quickly and the Achilles’ snapped.
“Initially I thought a ball hit me on the back of the foot or somebody slapped me with something because I heard a bit of a click sound. But when I turned around and noticed nobody was behind me and I knew something was wrong.”
After being carried off the field by the team’s physiotherapist Brandon Jackson and bowling coach Allan Donald, Duminy was rushed to the hospital, where the seriousness of his injury was revealed.
Duminy is now back home in South Africa after undergoing a successful surgical procedure to repair his torn Achilles.
“I am feeling a bit more jetlagged than before actually,” Duminy said. “But the surgery went well and the doctors were quite pleased with the way things went. Now, it’s just about me getting used to a long recovery period.”