JP Duminy’s Test career is in danger of ending with little more than a whimper.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2008 must seem a long, long time ago for the smooth, elegant left-hander.
That majestic innings of 166 remains his highest Test score, but in 33 Tests since, he’s added just three more centuries.
Heading into the Centurion Test against New Zealand, which starts at 10am tomorrow, his average has dipped below 32 and when AB de Villiers returns — hopefully for the Test tour to Australia in October — Duminy is the most likely candidate to fall out of the South African starting team.
Eight years ago it was very different, Duminy was pushing hard for a spot in the playing XI, worrying many of the starting players back then, who could see his potential when they watched him in the nets.
He’d travelled with the team for almost three years before that trip to Australia, and a very bright future beckoned.
His first two Tests were the stuff dreams are made of – he scored the winning runs in a record run chase against Australia in Perth and then came that remarkable innings at the MCG, which saw him first rescue the team from a precarious situation and then put them in a position from which they won the Test and the series.
In Test terms for Duminy, it’s been downhill ever since.
And he will be looking for yet another knock like the MCG one in this Test to rescue his ailing career.