Proteas gear up for turning pitches in India
Quinton de Kock, who will captain the side in T20s and Tests in the absence of Faf du Plessis, sounds word of caution
Proteas wicketkeeper and batsman Quinton de Kock has urged his teammates to brace themselves for spin-friendly pitches during the tour of India in September.
SA have three T20s (the first T20 is in Dharamsala on September 15)‚ where De Kock will captain the side in the absence of Faf du Plessis‚ and as many Tests against their hosts.
The attention has turned to the likely condition of the pitches, and looking ahead to what will be a testing tour on turning surfaces‚ De Kock said they are preparing for the worst as they do not know what to expect from their hosts.
The Proteas will “prepare for the worst”, he said‚ adding that they could possibly get good wickets in the T20s.
“I don’t know what we are going to get. In T20s I don’t think it will spin that much because in the IPL [Indian Premier League] they prepare good wickets. But Test matches are a different story and it could end up turning on day one. It is more of a mental thing, and not being caught up too much on whether it is spinning or not.”
The last time SA were in India, in 2015, they were thrashed 3-0 on substandard pitches and De Kock said they will assess conditions when they arrive on the subcontinent.
“The last time we were there‚ guys didn’t really expect those type of surfaces, but this time we will have a bit of a head start about that‚” he said. “We will keep our eyes open and make sure we are a little bit better [prepared] than last time.”
India coach Ravi Shastri has rested seamers such as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah and has picked Hardik Pandya‚ Navdeep Saini‚ Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed.
“Maybe‚ because of they are backing their fast-bowling attack‚ they will prepare better wickets‚” De Kock said.