England v South Africa Tests

Stumps pulled on SA veteran's career?

Australians have seen the best of JP Duminy but the South African has been released from the Test squad, possibly for the final time

Cricket Network

25 July 2017, 07:56 AM

South Africa batsman JP Duminy has been released from the Proteas tour of England and is set to head home.

After being dropped for the second Test at Trent Bridge, South Africa selectors appeared to seal Duminy's immediate – and potentially long-term – Test future with the move.

The gifted left-hander had made 121 runs from his last eight Test innings at an average of 17.28 with a top score of 39.

At the time of his axing, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said his long-time teammate was well aware he had failed to make the runs needed to justify his place in the side.

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"It was difficult as I know what he brings to the team away from his runs," du Plessis said.

"He would be the first guy to acknowledge that runs is what guarantees you play in the team and his performances haven't been consistent enough so therefore we're giving someone else an opportunity.

"Why you want him to do well, and he is possibly given a bit of a longer run, is because you know what he helps do for the team away from his runs.

"He adds a lot of value."

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Duminy has played 46 Tests and scored six centuries since his debut in December 2008 in Australia, a tour in which he made a stunning entrance to international cricket with an unbeaten 50 in a world record chase in Perth followed by a match-winning 166 in the second Test to secure South Africa's first-ever series victory Down Under.

The stylish batsman made three hundreds against Australia, including a second-innings 141 in Perth just last summer, while he backed it up with scores of 63 and 155 in the home series against Sri Lanka over the Christmas and New Year period.

Duminy delivers century for Proteas

But a string of low scores against New Zealand, and a poor first Test in England, led to the selectors running out of patience with a player who has promised so much but returned only a mediocre average of 32.85.

Dashing wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has been given an opportunity at No.4 in a move that allows for either an allrounder or an extra bowler in South Africa's line-up, while young batsman Aiden Markram remains in the squad.

It appears a decision with an eye very much on the future: Markram is unlikely to play in this series but the 22-year-old former Under-19 World Cup winning captain now has the opportunity to soak up the experiences of the national set-up, while his elder counterpart heads home, having quite possibly played his final Test match.