New Delhi: JP Duminy has been a prolific scorer for Delhi Daredevils in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League. While his team may not have had too many wins in the tournament, the South African feels skipper Kevin Pietersen and coach Gary Kirsten have had a positive effect on the players. In an exclusive chat with NDTV, Duminy opens up about his IPL team and his plans of exceeding for his national team.
On playing for Delhi Daredevils after featuring for Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the previous editions of IPL:
It has been really good. I have been enjoying my time here though the results have not been very good. Delhi is a great city and the team has a great bunch of people. It is a good team environment led by Gary Kirsten.
On coach Gary Kirsten mentoring Delhi:
He stands by his morals and values as a coach. The biggest challenges in IPL are to get all the cultures together, focus on one common goal, head in one direction, understanding different personalities from different nationalities. That is going to take a bit of time but I think we have already gelled well. Despite all the different cultures, there are no big egos. Everybody is playing with each other, playing for the team. And Gary has got the dressing room together.
On batting higher in the lineup for Delhi:
I do not think me coming up the order will benefit the team as such. No. 5 is where I bat for South Africa as well. I am not being pushed up the order in that team. This is my role in every team and this is going well. I have been performing my role with Delhi really well.
On possible frustrations when the team fails despite his best efforts:
At the end of the day, you can score 100s but that may not make the team win. It is not just about an individual, it is a collective team effort. Unfortunately we have not put it all together. On days we have batted well, we have not bowled well and vice versa. We have not put partnerships together. I think it is about combining the two. If we can put up performances up to our standards, we definitely give ourselves a better chance of winning and that is something we have to do over the next six games. Winning 6 out of 6 will be a difficult task but we have to just take one game at a time.
On fellow South Africans playing for different IPL teams:
Everybody has been doing well within their teams. It will stand us in good stead going forward. It is good to see them perform for their respective teams and it bodes well for us as a South Africans. AB played a standout knock and it just shows what we as South Africans can showcase.
On AB de Villiers as an inspiration:
If he doesn't inspire anyone, I will be surprised to be honest. He is an electric batsman. Anyone will pay money to go and watch him. He is probably one of the world's best at the moment. He inspires me but it does not come down to a competition at any moment. We love to see each other succeed. Great to see him perform the way he is doing and I take a lot of confidence from that.
On whether Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers have overshadowed him in the shorter version of the game:
I do not think I have been overshadowed. Everyone has a role to play in the set up. In batting up the order, one gets an opportunity to score big runs. Lower order batters like me do not get as much time to put in the big performances. I perform my role to the best of my ability and am not trying to compete with anyone in my team. That is not who I am, that is not who I stand for. I am there to give the best that I can for my team. If they score more runs than me and I make just the number of runs needed to win, I am more than happy.
On the possibility of becoming the South Africa's next Test captain:
If it is offered to me, it will be a great opportunity. It is not something I am trying to compete for. I have never had much chance to captain my side. It would be a new challenge but I am not ruling it out by any means. AB and Faff are more experienced when it comes to captaincy but I think it is up to the cricket board who gets the job.
On challenges of being a South Africa Test captain and maintaining Graeme Smith's legacy:
It is definitely a huge boot to fill. He was one the best captains in the world during his time. He was a great leader, great motivator for the team. It will be a huge gap to fill but every leader has his own unique qualities. AB, Faf and I have different qualities. It is about making best of those unique qualities. That is the key of leadership. The beauty of leadership is that no two leaders are the same. They believe in different ways to go about it. There are different strengths and weaknesses in every leader. It is about sticking to that. The way Graeme captained, he was obviously a big man in stature so there was always an aura about him when he was in the room. May be that is not something few of us possess but we all have something unique. You learn as you progress. There are things that you pick up. Even as a leader, you have to learn each and every day.
On Delhi Daredevils skipper Kevin Pietersen:
He has been exceptional. He missed on a few games in the beginning but he was still leading off the field and that is what you want out of a captain - not thinking of himself but thinking of the team and what the team requires. Guys have huge respect for him and have responded to him well. That is exactly what you want from the captain.
On young Indian talents in the Delhi team:
Kedar is an exceptional talent and he is one for the future. He has responded to pressure situations very well. Even though Mohammad Shami has played a few games, he is very young and one for the future too. What you have seen now in the IPL is that India does possess good quality fast bowlers. They have come through the IPL and they will go from strength to strength from here.