FILE - Proteas star Quinton de Kock celebrates after scoring a half century during a T20I against the West Indies earlier this year. Photo: Randy Brooks/AFP
FILE - Proteas star Quinton de Kock celebrates after scoring a half century during a T20I against the West Indies earlier this year. Photo: Randy Brooks/AFP

Kagiso Rabada: Quinton de Kock must do his thing and the rest of the batters will follow

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

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Dubai – Throughout the history of the World Twenty20 no team have become champions without losing a match. This is good news and bad news for Temba Bavuma's Proteas as they prepare to take on the West Indies at the Dubai International Stadium.

It means that stumbling over the first hurdle is not unique to the Proteas, but it is also a fact that a further defeat on Tuesday could result in elimination with the tournament proper hardly five days old.

Any wriggle room that might have existed was vanquished by Australia holding their nerve in the opener last Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

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It is imperative that they learn quickly from their woeful batting effort at the Sheikh Zayd Stadium for they do posess one of the more lethal bowling attacks. However, to prevail in tournaments such as these, everything needs to work in unison for the margin of error is so minute.

It is at these global jamborees where the big players rise to the occasion – as we witnessed in the adrenalin charged India-Pakistan clash where Shaheen Afridi along with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan laid down a statement of intent.

So, as has been the case for the past couple of years since the retirement of AB de Villiers and the closeting of Faf du Plessis, the reliance will be on Quinton de Kock to provide the impetus up-front and hopefully the remainder of the batting unit follow his lead.

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The Windies will certainly be alert to the danger De Kock poses for he was the singular difference when the two sides met a couple of months ago in the Caribbean. Both in the Test series, and particularly the T20s, De Kock manhandled the West Indies bowlers.

He struck 255 runs at an average of 51 and strike-rate of 141.66, which created enough breathing space for the bowlers despite a couple of middle-order meltdowns.

It is this type of form that the Proteas will hope he can rediscover, particularly after his bizarre dismissal against Australia when the ball looped off the shoulder of the bat to trickle on to the stumps.

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"Quinton is a massive player for us. He's done extremely well for South Africa ever since he started," Kagiso Rabada told reporters on Monday.

"He is a top-quality player, and I guess he just didn't come off. Now we just need to look at it and come into the next game. He's a world-class player, and he needs just to go in and do his thing. The batters know what they have to do."

The West Indies, defending champions but equally in danger of losing their crown after their own batting meltdown against England, will no doubt want to prove that last Saturday was a mere aberration.

Rabada certainly believes the Windies T20 legends can bounce back considering the experience and talent they possess in their line-up.

"West Indies are going to be looking to come back really strong. We can't underestimate them. You can never underestimate the West Indies. They're a dangerous team. You can't underestimate anyone. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a new day," he said.

"They're incredibly a strong, powerful team, T20 team especially. That game is behind. The game that they played against England, that's behind. Tomorrow is a completely new day."

Start: 12pm (SA time), TV: SuperSport, Radio: SABC Radio2000

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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