Ashwell Prince reveals that JP Duminy had considered Test retirement
Former Cricket South Africa selector Ashwell Prince has revealed that JP Duminy had considered retirement in January after a drop of form and exclusion from the playing XI.
Duminy, whose fighting hundred in the third innings of the Perth Test has helped the hosts put up a challenging target for the Australian team, had to be talked out of his retirement plans by the 39-year old Prince, who played 66 Tests for the national side.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Prince said "He had the conversation with me because the convener of selectors was not at the Cape Town Test, so I had to go and take him the news that he won't be playing”.
He conceded that Duminy was feeling very low about his form, but had to be assured that he was an important player to the South African side and that he should reconsider his thought process.
One of the most experienced batsmen in the current South African line-up, Duminy had had a poor outing in India in 2015, a place where he was supposed to play a major role, considering his experience of playing the Indian Premier League. He managed a meagre 70 runs in three Tests, averaging a paltry 14.00. He also didn’t bowl much of his off-spin, sending down just nine overs and picking up a solitary wicket.
During this bleak phase in Duminy’s career, and after the subsequent axing from the Test side, Prince acted as a ray of hope, motivating him to go on.
"I was talking to him as a friend, rather than a selector. I was making him understand how important Test cricket is for a player. You can play hundreds of ODIs and T20 and make millions but when you are done playing, you always think about what you did in the Test-match arena," he added.
A change in his mental approach, and a move to No.4 in the batting position, helped Duminy shed his poor form and score his first hundred since July 2014.
"I was pleased with the opportunity. It is something I have always enjoyed in the first-class arena. To be given the nod to go ahead, especially with it being such a crucial position in the South African team, was a big positive for me and I knew I had to step up and fill some big boots. You had Kallis and AB de Villiers batting there before. Today, I was a step in the right direction," said Duminy after the century.