CAPE TOWN - If Neil McKenzie was waiting tentatively to find out whether he was in need of looking for a job in the near future with Proteas coach Ottis Gibson set to name his new support team at the end of the month, he may just have received the ultimate testimonial.
Coaches’ credibility, and even more so consultants, are defined by the players’ opinions of them. No matter how “technically good” or “mentally stimulating” they may be, if the players are not able to process all the information provided at the net sessions into results, it means nothing.
And this is why Quinton de Kock’s brilliant unbeaten knock of 168 in Sunday’s 10-wicket thrashing of Bangladesh in the first one-day international in Kimberley, is a glowing reference for Proteas batting coach McKenzie. The fact that De Kock praised “Macca” afterwards was simply the icing on the cake.
“I didn’t get much chance to bat in the Test series,” De Kock said after sharing a record-breaking 282-run partnership with Hashim Amla on Sunday. “I had some chance to do some technical work out in the nets with Neil. It was nice to get some batting under the belt.”
Gibson is currently still working with former coach Russell Domingo’s coaching team after only arriving in South Africa shortly before the start of the Bangladesh Test series.
It is believed that the former West Indies coach has been impressed with the quality of Domingo’s lieutenants, but will still make a few changes.
It is understood that Proteas bowling coach Charl Langeveldt is under the most pressure to retain his job due to Gibson having previously occupied the role with England, while spin bowling consultant Claude Henderson’s post could also be under review.
Meanwhile, De Kock did not want to get too carried away with his start to the home ODI season.
“I was quite excited to get back out there. They didn’t need me in the Test matches - I was just happy to get back to doing some batting. I’m just happy to contribute to the team. Excited to just get out there and bat, let alone score runs or anything else,” he said.
The SA Cricketer of the Year was equally philosophical about his partnership with Amla, with the duo now the leading opening pair in Proteas ODI history.
“I think I’m a calming influence on him,” De Kock joked. “It’s always good to bat with him, it’s a privilege.”