Du Plessis: Duminy could lose his spot in the Test side

“JP will be the first guy to say he knows he needs to score runs for this team”

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South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has conceded that all-rounder JP Duminy could lose his place in the Test side due to his poor run of form as of late.

Du Plessis has always been an advocate of Duminy’s in the past, but given that the 33-year-old has not gone past 40 in his last eight innings, Du Plessis admitted that the Cape Town native has to contribute more, especially as he is one of the senior players in the side.

Duminy only made 15 and 2 in the first Test against England at Lord’s, which South Africa lost by 211 runs.

“JP will be the first guy to say he knows he needs to score runs for this team and it’s no different for anyone else,” Du Plessis said. “He is desperate to do well as anyone in that position. You want to try and score runs every time you go out that. He knows at the end of the day that it’s about runs.

“He understands that if it has to come to a position where there is someone else that needs to be looked at… he will be the first to acknowledge [that]. He is a crucial part of our senior player group and he will always put the team interests above himself so yes, he will be the first to acknowledge that.”

With Du Plessis back for the second Test after missing the first match due to the “difficult” birth of his first child, the Proteas skipper confirmed that there are a lot of options about what the squad for the second Test will look like, especially since pace bowler Kagiso Rabada has been banned for the clash in Nottingham.

“With losing KG – do you look at possibly playing a four-seam attack because you are losing quite a high-quality bowler? That’s means there would be a batsman that will miss out,” Du Plessis said. “That’s one option.”

Meanwhile, Du Plessis was pleased with batsman Theunis de Bruyn’s performance in the first Test, where he made 48 in the first innings.

However, he also added that he would like to see players like Temba Bavuma go on to make a big score after surpassing the half-century mark. Other than Bavuma, stand-in captain Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander all made fifties.

“You can look at someone like Theunis de Bruyn who has played pretty well this game – standing up at Lord’s and it’s only his second Test match,” Du Plessis said. “He was solid in that first innings. He played well.

“Temba has once again been consistent. But now, something Temba needs to work on is making sure he converts those starts. He is playing brilliantly but he knows that fifties don’t win us matches. The difference between the two teams is that one guy scored 190. That changed the outcome of the game.”

Du Plessis is also expecting opener Heino Kuhn, who made his Test debut at Lord’s, to have more of an impact as the series progresses. The 33-year-old made 1 and 9 in the first two innings of his Test career.

“Heino Kuhn is not a young guy anymore but he is new to Test cricket,” Du Plessis added. “I don’t think everything is supposed to be a fairytale where you just rock up and score two hundreds in your first game. Ask Dean. He got a pair in his first game. It’s about character and how you stand up to that. This will be good. It will make him stronger.”

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