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De Kock key to Proteas' World Cup charge

2018-08-02 08:20
Quinton de Kock (Getty)

Cape Town - In just two ODIs in Sri Lanka, Quinton de Kock has given a timely reminder of his worth to this Proteas team as preparations for the 2019 World Cup continue. 

His 47 in the first ODI on Sunday was followed by a knock of 87 in Dambulla on Wednesday, and while he was dropped twice - on 18 and 20 - De Kock's vast array of quality shot-making suggested that he is not far off his best form. 

In De Kock, the Proteas have one of their biggest weapons in their bid to win a first ever World Cup next year. 

His wicketkeeping is improving all the time and he is already one of the best in the world in that regard, but in the white ball formats it is De Kock's explosive batting that makes him such a valuable asset. 

De Kock can take games away from opposition bowling attacks quicker than most, with his natural aggression in the powerplay overs key. 

Now 92 ODIs into his international career, De Kock has maintained a healthy average of 45.90 in the format and he scores his runs at a strike rate of 94.10

Perhaps even more impressive is his conversion rate. 

De Kock has turned 13 of his 29 half-centuries into centuries, and on Wednesday he looked almost certain to get to his 14th ton before an impulsive mistake cost him his wicket. 

But by the time De Kock went out, the damage was already done from a Sri Lankan perspective. 

"Obviously I'm feeling more satisfied now than I was in the Test matches," De Kock said after Wednesday's clash.

"It was quite tough then, so coming into the white ball with a change of format and starting to add some value to the team is always nice.

"It's just great to be on the winning team again in Sri Lanka."

De Kock and the rest of the Proteas struggled immensely in the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, losing both matches heavily, but they now find themselves 2-0 up in the ODI series with just three matches to play. 

De Kock's opening partner, Hashim Amla, also suggested that he was finding some touch again with a run-a-ball knock of 43 on Wednesday. 

It is an opening pair that has been considered one of the best in ODI cricket over the years, and De Kock helped explain why.

"It's very, very chilled," he said.

"His demeanour is very relaxed so we keep each other very calm. That's what we do well together so it's just nice to finally bat with him again and score some runs."

The third ODI is a day game starting at 06:30 (SA time) on Sunday in Kandy.

Read more on:    proteas  |  quinton de kock  |  cricket

 

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