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Ken Borland



A new maturity behind De Kock’s top-class season 0

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Ken

 

A top-class season resulted in a handful of trophies for Quinton de Kock at the Cricket South Africa Awards over the weekend, and the wicketkeeper/batsman said he is approaching his game with a new maturity that befits his evolution into one of the senior players.

“I think I’ve slowly grown up and I’m being more mature about the game now, being more clever in the way I do things and prepare. I’m going to keep trying to learn and hopefully become even better. I don’t know as much as guys like AB and Hash, they are true geniuses and they teach me.

“I’m really focusing on my batting because in the next couple of years we’re going to have to start replacing some senior batsmen and I will have a more senior role. Sometimes you just need to do things yourself and I think I’m a fairly fast learner. Sometimes it’s all about trying to read what the bowler is trying to do or reading the situation,” De Kock said after he was named the overall Cricketer of the Year.

“To get all these individual accolades is nice, it feels good, but being able to just change the momentum or do something to keep the momentum for your team is the ultimate.”

The ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year is now off to England to try and help the Proteas to Champions Trophy glory. Although South Africa go into the tournament as the number one ranked side, suggesting they have the inside lane to success, De Kock downplayed expectations.

“We have a lot of backing at every ICC tournament, it seems whenever we go into a big tournament we’re always the favourites, but we don’t want to say too much about that. We don’t want to be the favourites, we just want to go and do our best, take it game-by-game,” De Kock said.

In addition to the main award, De Kock was also named Test Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year, was honoured by his peers by being named SA Players’ Player of the Year and by the fans as the SA Fans Player of the Year.

De Kock scored 761 Test runs last season at an average of 54.35 and 805 ODI runs at an average of 50.31 and a strike-rate of 115.

 

Duminy looks forward to serving as a senior 0

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Ken

JP Duminy is excited by the extra responsibility heading his way, serving as a key lower middle-order batsman, second spinner and senior figure in the changeroom as the South African cricket team head to Sri Lanka on their first tour without the stalwart triumvirate of Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher.

In fact, the 30-year-old feels that the increase in responsibility has not been a sudden thing: Duminy has gradually been taking on more and more of a senior role in the South African team, becoming a key player as his batting and bowling have grown to maturity.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, but it hasn’t just started now. It started a few months ago already, especially when Graeme retired. There’s already been added responsibilities, definitely in the shorter formats, and I think it brings the best out of me and my game.

“But this season will determine whether I can sustain that, but I think I’ve played enough cricket now to know what leadership is about,” Duminy said yesterday at the Cricket South Africa Centre of Excellence in Pretoria, where the Proteas were having a two-day fitness camp.

Duminy admitted that the Proteas have been stung by the loss of their number one Test ranking to Australia and he said they needed to start strongly in the three-match ODI series that precedes the two Tests against Sri Lanka.

“Obviously we don’t have a good record playing Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and it’s going to be a tough ask. But we have a nice squad and it’s going to be important to start well in the ODIs. That’s a very important aspect of the tour and we need to get our games right heading into the Tests, where we want to get that number one ranking back,” Duminy said.

Batting at number six (he deserves to be treated as one of the top six with either Stiaan van Zyl or Quinton de Kock at seven), Duminy can put money on the fact that he is going to face plenty of spin in Sri Lanka, an area of weakness previously which he has now greatly improved.

“Playing spin is going to be crucial and I have had an issue with it in the past, but I’ve put that behind me. I’ve definitely improved a lot from three or four years ago and I feel confident facing spin now. I feel like I now have good game plans facing spin and my experience in the IPL has improved me too,” the stylish left-hander said.

There is a sense of calm now about the veteran of 115 ODIs, 55 T20 internationals and 24 Tests and Duminy says life is not going to be radically different as the Proteas enter a new era under Hashim Amla.

“The team culture is there already and there’s a great balance in the squad. Small things will change, but we understand what we stand for and the guys stepping into the side have the freedom to express themselves and there are still several guys who have been around for a long time.

“We want to dominate the international circuit; yes, there’ve been big losses from the team, but we see it as a great opportunity for the new breed of players,” Duminy said.

http://www.iol.co.za/sport/cricket/proteas/mature-jp-happy-with-leadership-role-1.1706919#.U6gkvpSSxUE

 



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