In-form Duminy unlikely to be called upon

JP Duminy (Gallo Images)
JP Duminy (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - JP Duminy's return to form with the Cape Cobras is unlikely to see him called up for the third Test against England in Johannesburg on Thursday. 

Duminy was dropped from the side for the second Test at Newlands to accommodate the return of Quinton de Kock. 

His response was an undefeated 260 for the Cobras against the Highveld Lions over the weekend - an innings that saw him stay at the crease for nine-and-a-half hours. It was Duminy's highest ever first class score, and he couldn't have done anything more to convince selectors that he is back in form. 

Unfortunately for Duminy, it is unlikely to matter. 

The under-pressure Proteas top order came good in Cape Town with Faf du Plessis (86), Hashim Amla (201) and Temba Bavuma (102*) all delivering under pressure. 

Dean Elgar has solidified his place as the premier opening batsman in the side, and the only batsman under the microscope going into Johannesburg is fellow-opener Stiaan van Zyl. 

Duminy could be factored into the side if Van Zyl was dropped and Quinton de Kock moved to the top of the order, but that is a road that the selectors do not want to go down. 

"Besides shuffling around it would be asking too much of a young guy like Quinny to open the batting," convener of selectors Linda Zondi told Sport24.

Zondi also suggested that if Van Zyl was to lose his place, it would likely go to in-form Lions opener Stephen Cook.

"Also to shuffle around Stiaan van Zyl ... there is Cookie who is pushing for a place. For now, at the moment, to have guys performing and pushing for places gives us more options."

Zondi stopped short of saying that Duminy would not play in Johannesburg, but all signs are pointing towards him missing out.

"It’s always better when you drop someone to go find form and he replies with a double century," said Zondi.

"It is a nice problem to have and it gives us options.

"When you look at the middle order ... Temba Bavuma did well, Faf du Plessis did well and pending how the balance of the team looks heading into the Test match ... we’ll look at the pitch and make a decision from there.

"But it is good for JP, good for his confidence. We know with these players that form is temporary."

South Africa go into the third Test 1-0 down in the series.

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