Proteas keen on clean-sweeping Australians in Potch
JOHANNESBURG – With the One-Day series against Australia already won, it may not seem too important, whether it ends 2-1 or 3-0 in South Africa’s favour - except that it is important for this South African team.
This is a South African team that is not used to winning yet - it is not a habit for them. So it’s understandable that Quinton de Kock is very motivated to end the international season in this country on a high, by winning against Australia for the third time in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
“It would be a good boost for the team,” he said on Friday, adding, “to not come up with another win would be disappointing.”
The six wicket victory in Bloemfontein on Wednesday night lifted the enormous albatross off South Africa’s neck. Three times this season, the side had taken leads in series’ against England and lost, against Australia the Proteas lost the T20 series and in fact until Wednesday evening, it had been almost a year since South Africa had lost won a series in any format.
De Kock expects that with the series noew secured his side may play in a more liberated fashion.
“It gives more freedom to the boys to express ourselves,” said the South African captain.
De Kock may feel a sense of freedom too personally. His nemesis in the last couple of weeks, Mitchell Starc, who has bowled him three times in the five matches between the two sides, won’t be playing on Saturday. The left-arm fast bowler was released from the squad and will return to Australia early so that he can attend the Women’s T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Starc’s wife, Alyssa Healy, is one of the star players in the Australian team that will be taking on India at the MCG, in front of what is expected to be a crowd of 90000 spectators.
Potchefstroom it’s good to be back! The boys are hard at work, looking for a series clean sweep in the 3rd and final @Momentum_za ODI vs Australia. See you tomorrow at 10:00 sharp. Catch #ProteaFire live on SuperSport 2, SABC 3 & Radio 2000. #SAvAUS 🇿🇦🏏🔥 pic.twitter.com/OpJR1zU2mQ— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 6, 2020
“The (team management) were extremely supportive … so I’m very appreciative for that and very grateful that I can go back and support Alyssa, much like she was around for our 2015 World Cup win,” Starc told Cricket Australia’s website, cricket.com.au
“That was very special for all the boys to have their families involved so it’s a fantastic opportunity to repay that.”
De Kock will hope to take advantage.“ I feel like I’m batting really well, but obviously Starcy has given me one or two problems,” he said.
Those problems have been alleviated by the performances of his less experienced teammates, with Heinrich Klaasen and Janneman Malan making match winning hundreds in the first two games. “It’s good to see other boys coming in and scoring runs, you can’t just rely on one person. It takes a lot off my back.”
Lutho Sipamla is the only player in the squad not to feature in the series yet and De Kock hinted very strongly on Friday that the 21 year old fast bowler would be given a chance to add his three ODI caps in Potchefstroom.
“We’ve been good in pretty much everything in the last two games, maybe we could be a little better in the field,” said De Kock. “(Saturday) is about maintaining the standard we have set for ourselves in the series.”
The third ODI against Australia starts at 10am.@shockerhess