Quinton de Kock hit three centuries in as many games against India in late 2013 © Getty Images
New Delhi: May 1, 2014
South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock is enjoying his stint with the Delhi Daredevils (DD) under Kevin Pietersen and would vouch that he is finding the England stalwart to be completely different from what his image is made out to be.
“Frankly speaking, I didn’t meet or interact with KP before this IPL. But people had said a lot of stuff about his ego and so on. But I have not seen that part of him. So I don’t know what people mean when they speak about that part of him,” De Kock said during a media interaction on the sidelines of Daredevils’ practice session.
“KP looks a lot fired in the field because a captain has to keep his players in their place [referring to dropped catches],” the 21-year-old said. De Kock by his own admission is finding it more comfortable adjusting to the Daredevils set-up having been in the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) dug-out in the previous season.
“Obviously, it helps being around with familiar faces. I feel a lot more comfortable with Gary [Kirsten] and Rob [assistant coach Rob Walters] around. Lucky to be around people whom I know. In Sunrisers, there were a lot of Australians in their support staff. Having said that, I am not saying, I was uncomfortable in Hyderabad,” he said.
De Kock also said that he doesn’t mind if the team management wants him to do so. “I really don’t mind keeping wickets whenever they want me to do so. If they think that I am a fine outfielder, I don’t really mind.”
Asked to sum up Daredevils’ UAE leg, De Kock said, “It was not bad. In the first few games, we struggled but we have come back strongly and are playing very good cricket at the moment. After the first game, we needed someone to step up and JP Duminy was the guy who did it for us. The other day, we nearly chased down 190 (versus Sunrisers). Anything could have happened. A misfield or a dropped catch could have changed the game,” he said.
De Kock’s first season in international cricket has been great with a hat-trick of ODI centuries against India, last December. Does he need to change his game a bit now that he is into his second session with opposition teams dissecting his style of play? “I would prefer to stick to my game plan as I think it is fine. If I find something that I need to change, I will do that. But at the moment, it’s fine.” The baby-faced Proteas left-hander would tell you that even playing at the Feroze Shah Kotla gives him the feeling of an “away-game.”
He said, “It still feels like an away game for me. I believe it is more to do with the mental side of playing at Kotla. There would be a bit of edge for us. It’s hard to say from my end as to how much advantage it will be.”
Asked if there been any patterns of batting that has emerged in the T20s over the years, De Kock said that he feels that it’s all about a team’s preference. “I don’t think any sort of pattern has emerged. People play in the manner they feel they are required to. For some attacking in the Powerplay is an option while some go for it in the middle overs. But yes, things do change with times.” Patterns emreging in T20.”
De Kock, who has played a Test along with 16 ODIs and 17 T20 Internationals for South Africa, says that he doesn’t have any set expectations from himself. “I don’t have any expectations. The only thing I want is to perform as best as I can in order to help the team win,” he said.