ean-Paul Duminy was identified very early on as a potential international player, but having made his ODI debut in 2004, it was another three years before he cemented a regular place in the team. Partly that was down to South Africa's strong battling line-up and partly down to his own inconsistency, failing to live up to high expectations. However, when his Test chance came, through an injury to Ashwell Prince, he launched his career in a manner bettered by few players. On debut he helped guide South Africa to a successful chase of 414 in Perth with an unbeaten 50, then he followed that with a serene 166 in Melbourne to rescue to his team from the prospect of a huge deficit. Those two innings confirmed him as an integral part of South Africa's future, and he built on that with impressive performances in the subsequent limited-overs game. His timing was perfect: South Africa clinched the Test and ODI series, and he subsequently earned a whopping US$950,000 annual contract with the IPL's Mumbai Indians.
Duminy's batting is elegant and graceful, with a silky cover-drive and a strong square cut. He has few problems when the ball is short, either, and like a lot of left-handers likes to whip deliveries through midwicket. There is a calmness about his play that belies his age, an approach that flows into his personality. After scoring his 166 at the MCG he said: "I guess I have a lot to live up now."
Better known as JP, he broke into a strong Western Province side during the 2001-02 domestic season. Just 18 at the time, his potential was always evident and came to the fore in the South African Under-19 tour to England in 2003. He made his ODI debut during South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka in 2004 and played five matches, with little success, often buried at the bottom of the order.
Two years later, he was recalled to the national squad for a three-match contest against Zimbabwe at home but struggled to nail down a full-time slot. Slowly, though, he matured as a batsman and developed the craft of finishing an innings. Although not quite in the same bracket as Michael Bevan or Michael Hussey in closing out one-day games, his ability to work the gaps with strong wrists and sprint between the wickets means he will grow into the role.
He is a brilliant fielder anywhere with a safe pair of hands and a decent arm. In ODIs he has helped fill the gap left by Jonty Rhodes and when he plays alongside AB de Villiers and Herschelle Gibbs, South Africa's fielding circle is almost unbreakable.