Quinton de Kock, standing in as captain in the absence of Faf du Plessis in the just-concluded T20 International (T20I) series against India, led from the front as the Proteas marched to a comfortable nine-wicket victory in Bengaluru on Sunday. Speaking to reporters after the match, the South African skipper heaped praise on the team’s bowling lineup for successfully restricting India to 134 even as they got off to a strong start. India were going steady at 54 for the loss of one wicket, with the in-form Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan at the crease, but the South Africa bowlers did not relent and eventually snuffed out India’s hopes of posting a competitive total.
“They got off to a great start but I am very impressed with the way the guys fought back, they read the conditions very well, they stuck to their plans, they just kept up the pressure on India,” de Kock said at the post-match press conference.
The wicketkeeper-batsman also said that India bowled well and lauded the Proteas batting effort.
“They put a lot of pressure on us in the first four overs, kept it very tight, didn’t give us a lot of bad balls, ball was swinging,” he told reporters. “We just stuck to our guns upfront, just tried to soak up the pressure,” he said.
He also praised Beuran Hendricks, who picked up the player of the match award for his bowling figures of 2/14. “Beuran, in our T20 local league back home, he bowled really well in that tournament. Coming into this game, he has worked really hard on his skills. He deserved the chance and he took it with both hands,” de Kock said of the fast-medium pacer.
South Africa levelled the series with their win in Bengaluru after India won the second T20I in Mohali. The first match, which was to be played in Dharamsala, was washed out without even the toss taking place.
Quinton de Kock, playing his first series as captain, was in fine form for South Africa and finished as the player of the series. In Mohali, he scored a 37-ball 52 even as South Africa lost. In Bengaluru, the captain steered the chase with an unbeaten 79 off 52 deliveries as South Africa cruised home with three overs to spare.
(With PTI inputs)