I’m taking it in my stride, I’m still learning, says Proteas skipper De Kock
CAPE TOWN – Proteas captain Quinton de Kock admits he's still “learning” on the job, but knows that to get the better of Australia in the ODI series they “can’t give them a sniff”.
The visitors steamrolled De Kock’s team in the final T20 International at Newlands on Wednesday and will take great confidence into tomorrow's opening ODI at Boland Park.
De Kock and his men will need to put together a string of good performances after blowing hot and cold.
“It wasn’t good enough doing it twice in one series but we’ve got to have a good look at ourselves and ask some honest questions,” De Kock said. “In this series we played one decent game and then obviously the other two are just a disappointment. It’s not really the way we want to go about things.
“When we chatted we had an honest conversation about fighting back. We know they are a really strong team. When they are on top, they are hard to stop. We spoke about not giving them a sniff. They got a sniff and rode the wave.”
De Kock recently took over the captaincy from Faf du Plessis, and has been seen in the past T20 International series relying heavily on the former skipper. Du Plessis, though, is being rested for the remainder of the home international season.
“I’m still taking it in my stride. I’m still learning,” he said after the 97-run defeat to Australia. “There’s a lot of things that I didn’t see when I was just a normal player. Now I am seeing things and learning about the game and the thinking behind decisions. I am asking a lot of advice from Faf. I hope I can get better and put the results on the board.”
South Africa’s primary problem remains the lack of runs from outside De Kock and Rassie van der Dussen. Du Plessis’ return to the T20I side did not go to plan, while experienced batsman David Miller again flattered to deceive.
Newcomers Jon-Jon Smuts, Pite van Biljon and Reeza Hendricks have not set the world alight either, leaving South Africa short of being able to post or chase down a competitive total.
The Proteas will count their blessings that Temba Bavuma should be ready for the opening ODI in Paarl. Bavuma missed the T20I series through injury and his absence was severely felt.
The right-hander has made a smooth transition to white-ball cricket and is one of the rare in-form Proteas batsmen having developed a solid combination with De Kock at the top of the order. Crucially, he is also adept at playing spin - which the remainder of the Proteas batsmen struggled to contend with in the T2OI series.
“I don’t think it’s a technical thing. It can boil down to situations in the game. Or it could also be a confidence thing, I am not sure,” De Kock said. “I am not in the other batsmen’s minds. We’ve got some really good players of spin.
But in saying that their two spinners bowled really well. They didn’t give much away.”@ZaahierAdams