De Kock shows a new maturity
He also debuted a wild celebration as he reached three figures for the fourth time
IT IS easy to forget just how outrageously talented Quinton de Kock is, given the constant complaints about his shortcomings.
That is the burden of freakish natural talent.
The people expect more of men who have shown an ability that rises beyond mere mortals. Every knock is an opportunity for another gem, and those that fall short leave the gallery wanting more.
It has been two years since De Kock scored a Test century, but there has been rich entertainment even in the midst of the supposed drought.
Remember the knocks against Australia, the contributions in duels with India, and the relentless quest for perfection behind the stumps.
So, when De Kock raised both arms in the air, and soaked in adulation from an appreciative Wanderers, he breathed more than a sigh of relief.
Even the great and glorious have their doubts.
“I was a bit pumped up when I got there, because it has been a long time,” he admitted.
De Kock was made to sweat a bit longer before he got to three figures, as Kagiso Rabada got in the way of a perfectly executed straight drive.
“He’s definitely getting fined for that.
“More than a fine,” the Proteas fines master warned.
De Kock also showed another side of his maturity yesterday, with his assured stance in the press conference.
Often, the softly spoken assassin would look like a tailender facing the new ball music when confronted by cameras.
His answers were sharp, just like his lacerated drives through the covers.
Now, De Kock elaborates.
He is at ease, and speaks with the confidence that he bats with.
He spoke at length about Rabada, and how he is a very good batsman.
De Kock ought to know better than most.
He was also candid enough to explain how tough it is to bat with the tail, and how he is still trying to get better at it.
Goodness help international attacks when he gets to a place where he feels he has figured it all out.
So, even as impressive as he was on the field, perhaps the most tantalising aspect of De Kock at the Wanderers yesterday was the way he spoke about himself and his place in this team.
It was revealing and refreshing, and it reiterated the notion that De Kock will eventually rest his blade and mitts as one of South African cricket’s most astonishing products.
DUANNE Olivier was once again amongst the wickets yesterday at the Wanderers for South Africa and will hope to take a fistful more today as the Proteas seek to wrap up the third Test against Pakistan.