NOTTINGHAM, England - Faf du Plessis said Thursday that ultimately the lack of runs from JP Duminy cost the left-hander his place in South Africa’s starting team for the second Test against England starting at Trent Bridge on Friday.
Duminy’s been a mainstay of the South African side for most of the last year, but has been far too inconsistent as a senior player to warrant selection following two more failures in the first Test at Lord’s last week.
In the last 12 months, since being elevated to the no.4 spot, Duminy’s averaged 34, making just two centuries in 12 Tests in that period.
Since his 155 in the last Test against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers in January, he’s averaged 17 in four Tests, with a highest score of 39. Du Plessis confirmed that Duminy was informed of his axing before South Africa trained at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
“It was difficult in that I know what he brings to the team away from his runs...he would be the guy to acknowledge that runs is what guarantees you will play,” said Du Plessis.
“He’s taken it very well. If we were to take a picture of what it means to be a team player, he leads that everyday, he’s a great team man, that’s why you want him to do well when you have guys like that you tend to run a little longer with them in the team because they add a lot of value.
“Even Wednesday, after I spoke to him, he was absolutely brilliant. He just served the team and took focus off himself as a player. That’s what this team is about, how well you can help your teammates out and not just look after your own game.”
Besides Duminy, Du Plessis also confirmed that Duanne Olivier, who made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers, would start in place of the suspended Kagiso Rabada, while a decision about who between Theunis de Bruyn and Chris Morris would start was due to be taken later once conditions had been assessed.
The Trent Bridge pitch did appear to have a fairly lush covering of grass on Thursday afternoon.
“We know with Trent Bridge that its conducive to swing and seam bowlers. I believe we have a quality seam attack,” said Du Plessis.
Earlier England captain Joe Root confirmed England would play the same team as at Lord’s.
South Africa team: Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (capt), Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Theunis de Bruyn/Chris Morris, Keshav Maharaj, Morne Morkel, Duanne Olivier
England team: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Gary Ballance, Joe Root (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson.
Umpires: Simon Fry (Aus), Paul Reiffel (Aus). TV - Sundaram Ravi (Ind). Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ)