De Kock set for early return

2015-01-22 09:04
Quinton de Kock (AFP)

East London - Quinton de Kock could make an early return from injury and play in the final One Day International (ODI) against the West Indies in Centurion next week.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo confirmed on Thursday the explosive wicketkeeper and opening batsman was ahead of schedule with his recovery from an ankle injury he picked up in December.

"Depending on the medical committee, if they're okay with Quinton de Kock playing the last game [he'll play]," said Domingo.

"So that's a possibility for us, and hopefully we can get him back into international cricket next Wednesday. He will join us on Friday [in Port Elizabeth], and train with us for the next few days and hopefully we'll have him ready for next Wednesday in Pretoria."

De Kock was originally only set to return to playing for the Proteas during the World Cup starting in mid-February, but the 22-year-old had made a rapid return to full-fitness.

In De Kock's absence, Rilee Rossouw had joined Hashim Amla in opening the batting, and scored his maiden ODI century in the historic 439 for two posted by South Africa in the second match of the series at the Wanderers.

The squad travels to Port Elizabeth on Thursday, ahead of the fourth ODI on Sunday at St George's Park.

South Africa clinched the five-match series 3-0 with a nine wicket win at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday with two games remaining.

With the series in the bag, South Africa could field a vastly different lineup in the final two matches.

"It's highly unlikely that AB de Villiers is going to keep [wicket] the next two games. My plan would be for Morne van Wyk to keep the next game.

"We'll send Hashim home today, and he will join us for the last ODI in Pretoria. I will in all likelihood give AB a rest in the last ODI, but play him on Sunday in Port Elizabeth."

The changes would see JP Duminy move up the order as he had batted just once in the series to date.

Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso could also come into the starting XI according to Domingo.

"We want to play everybody that's in the squad. We'll use these next two games as an opportunity for some of the fringe players to stake a claim."

While South Africa had coasted to a comprehensive series victory against a struggling West Indian outfit, Domingo was not concerned by his under-performing opponents.

"You'd rather go to the World Cup having won a series than lost one.

"We've been under pressure all year. Whether we're under pressure now or six months ago doesn't matter too much to us. We were under pressure in Australia, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe."

Read more on:    proteas  |  quinton de kock  |  cricket

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