Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa head coach Russell Domingo has lauded opening batsman Quinton de Kock and pace bowler Kagiso Rabada for their sensational performances as of late.
In the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand, in which the Proteas hold a 2-1 lead, De Kock is averaging 64.66 after making half-centuries in each game, while Rabada has taken four wickets at an average of 17.50.
Speaking about De Kock, Domingo admitted that he is disappointed the 24-year-old hasn’t been able to convert any of his fifties into triple figure scores, but he made it clear that he won’t put a stop to De Kock’s aggressive mentality and approach either as it is clearly putting pressure on the opposition early on and leading to him scoring plenty of runs.
“He has got a phenomenal rate of transferring fifties into hundreds, so I’m sure he is disappointed that he hasn’t got a hundred because he is playing as well as he has ever played,” Domingo said. “I suppose he would feel a little disappointed in the manner of some of his dismissals. That’s the nature of how he plays. He is such an aggressive player, and I by no means want to curb his natural instinct.”
De Kock already has 12 ODI centuries and 12 fifties to his name, which shows just how gifted of a batsman he really is. With that in mind, Domingo has no plans to change anything about the Johannesburg native’s maverick mindset.
“He is an x-factor player, and some days he is going to get it wrong and that’s okay,” Domingo said. “But on the days he gets it right, he is going to win the game for you. He is still a baby, it’s hard to believe he is only 24.
“We have had some great players play international cricket for South Africa, who’ve got 10 or 11 hundreds in 200 games. He has 12 in 77. That’s a phenomenal return for a young player like that.”
As for Rabada, the 21-year-old has quickly established himself as a lethal seamer and has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the ranks to become South Africa’s spearhead bowler.
But, like all pace bowlers, Rabada will be more prone to injuries and this is where the Proteas have to be careful and manage his workload properly.
“I read the other day that he bowled 200 overs more than anybody else in the last year. He is only 21,” Domingo revealed. “It’s a fine line between resting players and trying to win the series. You’ve got to try and manage that process quite carefully, particularly for a guy like KG.
“It is hard to leave KG out of the next game in Hamilton. He is a seriously good bowler and it’s no coincidence that when he is back in the mix, we look a seriously good side.”