TELFORD VICE at Seddon Park
QUINTON de Kock attracted praise from both dressingrooms after scoring his sixth half-century in 17 test innings this season here on Sunday.
De Kock, who came in at No. 7 with South Africa on 190/6 on the second day of the third test against New Zealand, scored 90 to help the visitors reach 314 before they were dismissed.
“He knows his game very well for a young guy,” Neil McKenzie, South Africa’s batting coach, said.
“He’s expansive but technically gifted in how he hits the ball – very late through the off side.
“He can take the attack to the bowler, but he does it in his way.
“He’s a genuine talent and he’s had a huge year for us.
“He’s come in in difficult circumstances and this is another top knock.
“You’re threatening to get bowled out for around 200 and he comes in and gets a quality 90.
“These are innings under pressure and they show the mental capability of Quinton de Kock.
“He scores quickly, so it’s about trying to get him out.
“I don’t think it’s about keeping him quiet: he’s got too many options to keep quiet.”
That was the challenge for New Zealand’s bowlers, who are coached by Shane Jurgensen.
“He rarely gets out leg-before,” Jurgensen said. “Most of the time he gets out caught and sometimes he chops it onto the stumps.
“He has fast hands and he must have a fantastic eye.
“He puts the pressure back on the bowlers.”
De Kock reminded McKenzie of another wicketkeeper who knew which end of a bat to hold – and also did so left-handed and, mostly, at No. 7.
“(Adam) Gilchrist used to do that for Australia,” McKenzie said.
Gilchrist took guard at No. 7 in 100 of his 137 test innings and scored all but five of his 12 centuries from that spot.
De Kock is playing with a special splint on his right index finger after injuring a tendon during the second test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
McKenzie said the injury had affected De Kock’s preparation for the third test.
“His workload’s been dropped,” McKenzie said. “He hasn’t caught as many balls as he would have liked to.
“He’s had a few anti-inflammatories. But Quinton doesn’t moan; he just gets on with it.
“But he’s definitely uncomfortable.”
New Zealand, who must win the match to level the series, will resume on 67 without loss on Monday.