‘Fresh’ Proteas ODI squad doesn’t carry baggage

JP Duminy. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

JP Duminy. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

It’s probably a good thing that half of the white-ball squad had nothing to with Test series fiasco but veterans like JP Duminy still need to step up.

Veteran batsman JP Duminy is one of the players who have arrived in Sri Lanka for the ODI series that starts on Sunday and the left-hander said on Wednesday that they are all trying to refresh the energy of the squad after the battering they took in the Test series.

It’s no doubt a good thing that there are half-a-dozen players in the ODI squad who had nothing to do with the 2-0 Test fiasco, but Duminy and fellow batsman David Miller are the only really experienced players amongst the new arrivals.

“The Test guys seem in good spirits and they just have to dust themselves off as quickly as possible, take what value they can from the Tests for the ODI series, use what they can to improve. A few new guys have arrived, which brings fresh energy and is definitely positive for the environment.

“These are the experiences you have to go through in a career. The ODI squad is really an exciting, youthful group and there’s a bit of pressure on the old dogs like me. There’s a different energy, which is great for the environment,” Duminy said on Wednesday.

While Duminy and Miller could conceivably be competing for one place in the starting XI, players like Junior Dala, Andile Phehlukwayo, Reeza Hendricks and Wiaan Mulder will be checked for their readiness to play ODIs with the World Cup less than a year away.

“I’ve been to Sri Lanka a few times and had some very tough tours and some successes. The last time we were here we did reasonably well in the ODIs and T20s. I think conditions will not be as challenging as in the Tests and our batsmen should get some opportunity out in the middle, which they must grab with both hands.

“The top six have been doing their job, we’ve had quite a few hundreds from them, which is a formula that really works in the sub-continent. You don’t want to rely on your lower-order too much, your top six putting the runs on the board definitely gives you the best chance of success over here,” Duminy said.

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12 January 2019 TURFFONTEIN

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