Castle Lager Proteas began their preparations for their second ICC Cricket World Cup match against India with a light optional training session at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on Tuesday. The squad was fresh after a day off in Melbourne on Tuesday, and looked eager to begin their preparations ahead of the showdown on Sunday February 22.
JP Duminy says the Proteas have taken a lot of confidence from their 62-run win against Zimbabwe, and personally feels his innings has given him an understanding of what it takes to succeed in pressure situations.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Duminy said of his innings. “I guess we don’t want to find ourselves in that position again, especially in the knockout stages, but it’s good to get an innings like that under the belt coming in under pressure.
“We needed to make a play and to soak up the pressure that was there. I am pleased with the performance, it’s something to enjoy getting time in the middle, and batting at six it’s not always possible to get a lengthy period of time out in the middle. It was a good opportunity to find my feet and to understand what is needed in certain situations.”
He says he has come to understand his role at number six, and mentioned Sunday’s match as a good example of adapting his game to different challenges that come about. Apart from that, the all-rounder also feels it affords him more time to work on his growing role with the ball.
“It’s about adapting and making sure you have different sets of skills for different situations,” he explained. “These are the things we talk about in team and batters meetings and we try to execute them. Sunday was a good showcase of our skills, especially myself and David (Miller). We are enjoying batting together and we complement each other well.”
Duminy has fond memories of the MCG, the venue where he announced himself as a Test player, and says he is looking forward to another opportunity to create more memories at the cricketing coliseum.
“All of us are,” he said of the excitement ahead of Sunday’s match. “To play in that sort of arena; it doesn’t happen often that you get to play in front of so many people. The MCG is a ground that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing at, and hopefully I will be given an opportunity to do something special again.”
Proteas welcomed consultants Gary Kirsten and Mike Hussey, who will be with the team until the Proteas’ third match against the West Indies in Sydney. Dale Steyn is recovering from a bout of sinusitis which started on Tuesday, and didn’t take part in the training session. He is expected to return to training on Wednesday.
South Africa ICC Cricket World Cup Itinerary
February 22 – India v South Africa, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne 14:30 local time
February 27– South Africa v West Indies, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 14;30 local time
March 3 – Ireland v South Africa, Manuka Oval, Canberra 14:30
March 7 – Pakistan v South Africa, Eden Park, Auckland 14:00
March 12– South Africa v United Arab Emirates, Westpac Stadium, Wellington 14:00