Home Sport Cricket Can Proteas afford an off-form Quinton de Kock at T20 World Cup?

Can Proteas afford an off-form Quinton de Kock at T20 World Cup?

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Despite Quinton de Kock’s poor numbers in the SA20, Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter selected him in the T20 World Cup squad, citing class over current form as the reason for his decision.

Quinton de Kock has battled to find his touch for the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL. Picture: R.Satish BABU, AFP

Comment by Ongama Gcwabe

TWELVE years of international cricket alone speaks volumes of a player’s ability and success rate.

After all, this is the highest level, and it takes no prisoners.

But only those with proven success – five-fors, 10-fors and centuries – stick around for a lengthy period of time.

Quinton de Kock is well within his 12th year at the highest level, and this achievement solidifies his legacy as one of the greats of the modern era.

However, even the greats have an expiry date, otherwise international cricket wouldn’t be as we know it – unforgiving to players on poor runs of form.

Regardless of what you have achieved in the past, when you average 19 in a home T20 tournament, as De Kock did in the SA20 earlier this year, axes will be drawn for your head with regard to selection in the national team.

Despite the 31-year-old’s poor numbers in the SA20, Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter selected him in the T20 World Cup squad, citing class over current form as the reason for his decision.

It is hard to argue against Walter’s reasoning, as we have seen big players on numerous occasions in the past rise in big moments of big tournaments despite not having form leading into them.

Last year, De Kock was not in the greatest of form leading into the ODI World Cup either, but went on to blast four centuries, making it his best campaign to date.

However, the nature of last year’s ODI World Cup is not anywhere near to how next month’s T20 World Cup is set up. The ODI version had 10 matches in the round-robin stage, a schedule that allowed teams and players time to find form.

On the other hand, the T20 World Cup is a different ball-game in that it runs for only 29 days, which means teams and players have to hit the ground running.

That therefore raises the question – is class over current form a viable selection criterion for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the US and West Indies?

When Walter announced his Proteas squad, there were still a few weeks left in the IPL and he had hoped that De Kock would find form.

However, that has not been the case, as the wicket-keeper batter has been to the crease twice since then, returning scores of two and 12 in the process for the Lucknow Super Giants.

Thus far, De Kock has faced 186 deliveries in 11 matches this season, the fewest he has faced in an IPL campaign in which he played 10 or more matches.

The question is, is this the version of De Kock one the Proteas want to take to the World Cup?

After all, future star Matthew Breetzke is on form and ready to make the step up.

Fast bowler Nandré Burger is also lurking in the travelling reserves and could be a fitting replacement seeing that some of the quicks in the side, including Kagiso Rabada, have had recent injury scares.

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