Teams Played For
South Africa U19, Lions, South Africa, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Capitals, West Indies, South Africa A, Titans, Rangpur Riders, Benoni Zalmi, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Cape Town Blitz, Mumbai Indians
A well-known talent since his school days, it seems like destiny had it written that Quinton de Kock will take over the mantle from Mark Boucher as South Africa’s all-format wicket-keeper.
After all, he attended King Edward VII High School, the same institution that former South African skipper Graeme Smith and Neil Mckenzie consider as their alma mater. Some strong performances in age-group cricket saw de Kock make the South Africa U-19 team’s squad and even went onto lead the side for a period before the selectors decided to relieve him of the responsibility for the 2012 U-19 World Cup. That crucial decision was taken to ensure that de Kock can fully focus on his batting.
Although South Africa was knocked out by Australia in the semi-final, De Kock finished the tournament with 284 runs from six matches. The young gloveman made sure the momentum generated in that World Cup was sufficiently used with some strong performances for Highveld Lions in both the Champions League T20 and also the first-class championship. A 19-year-old at that time, de Kock caught the attention of cricket fans around the world especially with a mature fifty against Mumbai Indians in that 2012 CL T20.
Such form from the youngster saw a national team call-up coming his way as the selectors picked him for the T20I series against New Zealand. The opportunity came his way as AB de Villiers wanted some rest after having kept quiet a bit for nearly two years post-Mark Boucher’s final few months in International cricket. De Kock’s initial few months in International cricket didn’t go smoothly but he eventually broke the door open with a maiden ODI century against Pakistan in November 2013. The tally quickly moved onto four centuries as de Kock made three consecutive hundreds against India a month later. Such performances were always going to be rewarded as de Kock was named in the ICC World ODI XI for the year 2014. This brilliant run of form saw de Kock being rewarded with a middle-order slot in the Test team but he couldn’t get going right away.
The start of 2014 wasn’t eye-catchy but de Kock had a pretty good tour of Sri Lanka in July by doing well in both the ODI and Test matches. He then went onto score a bright fifty in the one-off Test against Zimbabwe but a ligament injury suffered during a Test match against West Indies in December almost saw him missing out on the 2015 ICC ODI World Cup in Australia. de Kock did make the World Cup team eventually but he couldn’t set the tournament alight. It was only during the tour of India later that year that de Kock made a strong comeback with two hundreds in the five-match ODI series.
The year 2016 has been one of de Kock’s best until now as he followed up a spot in the ICC World T20 Team of the Tournament with some breakthrough displays in the longest format of the game. After scoring a maiden Test century against England at Supersport Park in Centurion, de Kock reeled off five consecutive 50+ scores against New Zealand and Australia with his scintillating streak coming to end with a counter-attacking century at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. The southpaw continued his good run of form with some more good performances against Sri Lanka at home and an away tour of New Zealand.
He did superbly in the ODI series during the same tour of New Zealand too with three consecutive fifties. Having always been a consistent ODI batsman, de Kock was named in the ICC World ODI for both 2016 and 2017. After a quiet 2018, de Kock was back to his best in the home matches against Sri Lanka. After scoring 222 runs in the Test matches, the Gauteng-born wicket-keeper batsman finished the ODI series with 353 runs from five matches.
There was a great of air of expectation from de Kock with respect to the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup but South Africa didn’t have the great of campaigns. On a personal note, de Kock finished the tournament as South Africa’s third highest-scorer with 305 runs from nine matches. With several senior players retiring from International cricket and Faf du Plessis stepping down from captaincy, de Kock was handed over the reins for the Proteas white-ball teams.
When it comes to the most popular T20 league in the world, de Kock was kind of a journeyman as he represented Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils, and Royal Challengers Bangalore without much success. It was his move to Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2019 season that turned out to be a masterstroke as he went onto lift the title immediately. De Kock also played a pivotal part in that triumph by ending the tournament as the third-leading scorer with 529 runs. The title meant so much to de Kock that he went onto say that it was the most emotional moment of his career.
Although it seems that de Kock has been around for a long time, he is still a young man by cricketing standards and could go onto greater feats in his career. Already in 2020, he is being talked of as the best wicket-keeper batsman in world cricket. His glovework while keeping to pacers is especially appreciated by experts.