Proteas turn to Miller as De Kock standby
SA likely to go to World Cup with one recognised wicketkeeper
It looks as though SA will gamble on using middle-order batsman David Miller as cover for wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock at the World Cup in England.
Heinrich Klaasen‚ who has featured in 14 ODIs and played his last match against Pakistan in January‚ is out of favour and De Kock is likely to be the only recognised SA wicketkeeper at the tournament.
When SA lost to New Zealand in the semifinal of the 2015 World Cup‚ former Proteas coach Russell Domingo had retired AB de Villiers as cover for De Kock. But all indications are that they are prepared to take the unorthodox route with Miller.
The Miller experiment was put into practice during the commanding 113 runs win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI at SuperSport Park on Wednesday night when he came on for De Kock and kept wicket for the last eight balls of the match.
De Kock walked off the field at the end of the 31st over as a precaution after he was hit by the ball on a finger. Miller came close to grabbing his first stumping but Vishwa Fernando was alert.
“My finger was getting a little sore‚ I went off just to get some ice and David Miller decided that he will take over‚” said De Kock‚ adding that Miller and Van der Dussen have been working on their keeping.
“I try to help where I can but it is just for cases of emergency like in the middle of the game. With regards to my finger‚ it’s all good from my side and there is no need to worry about. It was the usual finger issues that as a wicketkeeper you will get from time to time‚ but I am okay.”
De Kock‚ who fell on 94 and missed out on his 14 ODI century‚ admitted that he was frustrated when he was bowled by Thisara Perera.
“I was quite disappointed because lately I have not been converting these eighties and nineties into big hundreds‚” he said.
“I am disappointed but at the same time a knock like this will help me with confidence going forward and hopefully soon enough I will score big. I just have to keep working hard going with the routines I have doing recently because every season you find something that works for you.”