Proteas have taken ‘huge strides’, says JP Duminy

Even though the results in Sri Lanka have been distinctly patchy…

South Africa might have lost the one-off T20 to Sri Lanka along with the Test series, but JP Duminy, their stand-in captain, said his side wouldn’t walk away from the island with any negativity.

South Africa’s tour ended with a three-wicket loss in a low-scoring thriller on Tuesday, – they were first bundled out for their lowest-ever T20 total of 98, but then made a fight of it in the second innings.

South Africa began the tour with a 2-0 loss in the Test series, in which they struggled to handle the Sri Lankan spinners.

They did, however, win the five-match one-day international series that followed, seeing off Sri Lanka in the first three ODIs before the hosts secured victories in the last two matches.

All considered, Duminy said there were plenty of positives.

“I don’t think we’re walking away from Sri Lanka with negativity,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot of positives. I’ve certainly experienced many tours of the subcontinent when you walk away with your head in your hands not knowing where your next run or next wicket is going to come from.

“Yes, there’s disappointment about the Test series, but from a one-day perspective, we’ve taken huge strides in my opinion. I’m excited by the brand of cricket we’re trying to adopt. I believe we can only get better.”

Duminy was also full of praise for South Africa’s spinners, especially Tabraiz Shamsi – the left-arm wrist-spinner, who took 12 wickets in the series.

“Tabraiz is an exciting prospect for South African cricket and he’s a wicket-taker,” he said. “If you look at Imran Tahir, who’s been a match-winner for us for many years, to have another one coming through now, it’s fantastic.”

“Even Keshav Maharaj has been a match-winner for South Africa. That’s exciting to see for our spin department. Spin coach Claude Henderson has played a big role in that, working with the spinners. It’s exciting to see them put their hands up in these conditions.

“The opportunity to pick both (Shamsi and Tahir) of them is exciting. If you have conditions similar to Sri Lanka, or even English conditions – that’s where the World Cup is going to be – that’s a good option to have, if you know that the opposition doesn’t necessarily play spin well. It’s definitely a great feather in our cap.”

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