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De Kock Provides Calming Influence For In-Form South Africa

  • SPORT
  • 2 min read

Quinton de Kock’s fourth century of the Cricket World Cup guided table-topping South Africa to an emphatic 190-run win over New Zealand on Wednesday, but his influence on the side stretches well beyond runs in the middle.

The tournament is De Kock’s swansong in the 50-over format having announced his retirement from One-Day Internationals prior to the start, and he is certainly going out with a bang.

His 545 runs at an average of 77.85 is the most by a batter so far at the World Cup and comes at a healthy strike-rate of 112.60 for the left-handed opener.

“He has a determination about him that I haven’t seen in a very long time,” said Rassie van der Dussen, who also scored a century and put on 200 for the second wicket with De Kock against New Zealand.

“He’s ploughing back into the team in all aspects, in the bowling meetings, in the batting meetings, being one of our senior guys.

“The guys really feed off him. He’s one of my favourites to bat with. He really guided me through my innings.

“At times I was under pressure and I was asking him about a few options and just to sort of soundboard with him out in the middle. He’s such a cool and calm guy out there, thinks so clearly.”

South Africa have won six of their seven pool matches so far, with only a shock loss to Netherlands blotting their copybook. Van der Dussen says it is heartening for the team how many players are contributing to that success.

“Everyone’s contributing, even the guys on the bench. We had Shamo (leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi) sitting out after being man of the match the other day, but the energy (the substitutes) are putting into the team has just been unbelievable.”

Next up is a meeting with unbeaten hosts India on Sunday that could decide top spot in the pool stage and while Van der Dussen is aware of the huge challenge facing his side, he says there is a quiet confidence going into the game.

“They’ve been playing really well and have a lot of experience in their team. They’ve got all bases covered, brilliant bowling attack and obviously the batting as well.

“But we’ll go into that game knowing that if we do the things well that we want to do, we’ll be in a really strong position.”

Reuters