Can De Kock be Proteas' Lara?

2014-06-09 22:00
Quinton de Kock (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - "I still believe Quinton de Kock can be a match-winner for South Africa in Tests like Brian Lara was for the West Indies, provided he gets an extended run and understands exactly what his role is," said Geoffrey Toyana, coach of the Highveld Lions.

The website reports that De Kock is vying for the number-seven spot in the Test team with Stiaan van Zyl, as Dean Elgar and Alviro Petersen are the favourites to open the innings for the South African Test team against Sri Lanka in July.

Toyana says De Kock struggled last year in Sri Lanka against the slow bowlers, but he has improved his ability against the spinners, thanks to relentless work in the nets and some technical changes.

Rob Walter, coach of the Titans and fielding coach of the Delhi Daredevils, said De Kock definitely looked an improved player against spin during the IPL.

"His work ethic is wonderful.

"Sometimes we had to 'force' him out of the nets," he added.

Toyana said it is important that De Kock is backed in similar fashion to Jacques Kallis when he started his career.

"And look where JK is now.

"You cannot bat Quinton at No 1, then at No 4, and the next Test at No 6.

"And you cannot have a situation where he is looking over his shoulder after just one Test and wonder if his place is in jeopardy.

"What he needs, is an extended run."

De Kock averages 46.31 in ODI, and showed some improved form in the shortened format with an excellent ton in the United Arab Emirates against a Pakistan team who boasted the considerable presence of Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal.

At home against India, he smashed three consecutive tons last year, and treated their spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin, with disdain.

Walter cautioned against comparing conditions in T20-matches and ODIs with the last two days of a Test in Sri Lanka.

"Conditions are vastly different in Sri Lanka and they have world-class spinners," he added.

De Kock averages 47.15 in 21 matches, but was off the boil in the Sunfoil Series last season and only managed 11 runs in two matches.

He made his Test debut against Australia in Port Elizabeth in the second Test and scored 34 in the second innings in February 2014.


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