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“He’s probably given us the best starts in the ODI format – he’s the best in the world – so it’s great to have him back”
South Africa all-rounder Jean Paul (JP) Duminy has announced that opening batsman Hashim Amla’s “return in a bonus” for the Proteas as they are currently deadlocked with Pakistan in the ongoing ODI series.
South Africa will be hoping that Amla, who returned home after the first Test in Abu Dhabi to witness the birth of his second child, can break the deadlock and give the Proteas 2-1 lead at the end of the third ODI, which gets underway on November 6.
Duminy is also hoping that Amla will be able to score some runs as South Africa have been bowled out for 183 and 143 in the first two ODIs.
“Hashim’s return is a bonus but there’s no guarantee that he will come and score runs,” Duminy said. “He’s probably given us the best starts in the ODI format – he’s the best in the world – so it’s great to have him back.
“There’s no pressure on him as he brings a lot of experience to the team and it’s always great to have him. Hopefully he can contribute to our batting performance.”
South Africa pace spearhead Dale Steyn is also set to return during the third ODI in Abu Dhabi after he was rested for the first two ODIs.
Steyn was rested due to the fact that he complained of tightness in his hamstring prior to the start of the second Test in Dubai, while Cricket South Africa also wanted to limit his workload.
Meanwhile, Duminy conceded that it was tough batting against the Pakistan spinners on spin-friendly pitches.
“It is arguably one of the best bowling attacks in one-day cricket at the moment,” he said. “It’s just about making sure we have good gameplans in place and working in partnerships out there and knowing you are not alone.”
Duminy added that South Africa have to stop losing early wickets as it only succeeds in putting more pressure on the middle and lower order batsmen.
“When you’re losing wickets early upfront you’re always catching up with the game from a batting perspective,” he said. “A lot of us including myself have got in, to 20s and 30s and got out.
“We’ve done the business in the past – its just about making sure we back ourselves to do it again.”
The 29-year-old finished off by saying that he hopes South Africa will be able to win the ODI series after they drew the Test series 1-1.
“Look we’re obviously in a tight position, but it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “We haven’t had two great performances with the bat and I guess everybody would be thinking that is our worrying factor right now which is probably true. But we’ve got to stand up and be accountable for it as a batting unit.”