Quinton de Kock will be key to South Africa’s chances at the World Cup. The 21-year-old equalled an ODI record in the Proteas’ first match against New Zealand, becoming only the ninth wicket-keeper to take seal six dismissals in one game, with five catches and a stumping.
He is only the second South African to do so after Mark Boucher, who performed the feat against Pakistan in 2007.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers grabbed the headlines with an unbeaten innings of 89, putting on a strong fifth-wicket stand with JP Duminy, but de Kock should also earn his fair share of attention.
De Villiers opted to field first, and the Proteas quickly reduced the Kiwis to 68-5. De Kock played a role in getting out New Zealand’s opening three batsmen, Martin Guptill, Jimmy Neesham, and Dean Brownlie, setting up his team mates to dismiss the hosts for 230 with almost five overs still remaining.
Though it is still early on in the series, he is enjoying far better fortunes this time around against New Zealand.
His short career with South Africa has not always been plain sailing; in January of last year, he faced disciplinary proceedings after allegedly pushing opponent Alistair Gray.
However, in spite of the incident, de Kock has been incredibly speedy in firmly establishing himself as his national side’s limited overs wicket-keeper.
That has also taken the strain off his captain, de Villiers, who can keep wicket but has complained in the past of it aggravating his back injury.
Youth on his side
Not only does de Kock have youth on his side and is arguably the best young wicket-keeper in the world right now, he is also gaining a wealth of experience, thanks in part to his time in the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he played with Sunrisers Hyderabad before transferring to Delhi Daredevils for $560,000, a record fee for a foreign wicket-keeper.
He has also ventured into the Champions League T20 with South African outfit Highveld Lions.
In truth, he has struggled in the IPL, but it has developed his batting and taught him to be far more aggressive, a trait which will certainly benefit him at the World Cup.