Quinton De Kock wary of putting big-event jinx on Proteas
Two steps forward would be a triumph‚ an end to the nightmare that has recurred every time the Proteas try to take on the world
Quinton de Kock has heard it all before‚ and the last thing he wants to do is add to the noise.
This time, that noise is about June’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales.
"I don’t want to say too much. I don’t want to jinx myself or jinx the team‚" De Kock said.
"The Proteas have always been seen as favourites when they go into big tournaments.
"This time, we don’t want to be that. We just want to be that team who go there and do our best," he said.
SA did that more often than not in 2016-17‚ winning 23 matches and losing only five across all formats.
Part of that success was winning 14 of their 16 one-day internationals (ODIs)‚ which would seem to bode well for the Champions Trophy.
It did for Imran Tahir‚ who has been central to many of SA’s victories and is the No1-ranked ODI and T20 bowler.
WE’VE BEEN PLAYING VERY GOOD CRICKET‚ IT’S JUST THAT ON THE DAY WE NEED TO DELIVER. WE’VE BEEN DOING THAT CONSISTENTLY
"We’ve been playing very good cricket‚ it’s just that on the day, we need to deliver‚" said the opening batsman.
"We’ve been doing that consistently. I know that when it comes to big events, people talk about us‚ but I believe with this team, we can change a lot of things. We’re hoping to give something really special to SA’s people."
But De Kock‚ like so many other South Africans‚ had been shot in this movie too many times before.
"We know we’ve got a lot of backing at the moment because of the season we’ve just had.
"People can say we’re going to win‚ but we hear that at every ICC [International Cricket Council] tournament," he said..
"So, we’re just going to take it game by game and not get too ahead of ourselves."
Thing is‚ SA need to get ahead of themselves in another sense.
They have yet to reach a final after seven trips to the World Cup‚ five to the Champions Trophy and another five to the World T20.
Getting ahead of themselves‚ even by just one step‚ would represent progress.
Two steps forward would be a triumph‚ an end to the nightmare that has recurred every time the Proteas try to take on the world.
But‚ like De Kock‚ you didn’t hear that here.