Battling Proteas desperate to avoid a whitewash
Captain Quinton de Kock says the team are bound to improve and results will start showing with more play
T20 cricket is not about patience‚ but Proteas limited overs captain Quinton de Kock knows that particular virtue will be the name of the game in the build-up to the 2021 World Cup.
In the interim‚ they will have to hang on and rely on incremental improvements‚ some of which have to come on Tuesday when they face England in the third T20 at Newlands. SA lost the opening two matches and will be hell-bent on avoiding a whitewash.
De Kock admitted they have been sluggish‚ but they will become a better team once they have got the matches under their belt.
“Patience is key at the moment. We’ve come out of lockdown and the team hasn’t played cricket together in a long time. This is our first series back together and it’s all about patience and we understand that‚” De Kock said. “Once we start playing more cricket together‚ the results will start showing.”
SA’s inadequate defences of 179 and 147 were put down to lack of a bowling all-rounder who would have filled the sixth bowling slot. George Linde of the Cape Cobras has acquitted himself well in both games‚ but the absence of Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius have been keenly felt.
De Kock explained how difficult it has been to replace the missing all-rounders‚ and added that the sixth bowling option is at best a luxury that is condition-specific.
“It was difficult not to have a specialist all-rounder‚ even though George was there. It was unfortunate Dwaine got injured at the wrong time with Andile in quarantine. It’s not that easy just flying up a person because of the bubble because they also have to go through quarantine and all of that‚” De Kock said.
“I know everyone is talking about this sixth bowler‚ but I don’t think we really need one. I know it’s nice to get overs from somewhere‚ but in both games‚ it was literally those [single] overs that went for plenty that did the damage against us. In the future we may need one‚ but the sixth bowler sounds like a soft option.”
De Kock said the conditions in Paarl on Sunday were difficult to read but with a sizeable Paarl Rocks contingent in the squad and the fact that they have all played there‚ they should have adapted quicker to Boland Park’s turn.
De Kock also admitted it would be better if the batting load is spread evenly among the top and middle order.
“When we got to the ground‚ no-one knew it was going to spin the way it did. It was difficult to predict. We rocked up there and it looked like it was going to be a belter of a wicket and 200 could play 200 here. At the end‚ it didn’t really matter‚” De Kock said.
“We all play enough at Boland Park to know what’s going to happen and the guys are good enough to adapt anyway. It would be nice to have an extra batsman as an all-rounder‚ just to get us a bit more freedom. This is what we have at the moment and we need to get along with it while we do our best at the top.”
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