JP Duminy was a great choice as Player of the Series… but we wonder if the adjudicator forgot to check out Quinton de Kock?
Aside from captaining the side in the final two ODIs, De Kock picked up a phenomenal 15 dismissals in the series, as well as scoring with the bat. He also held onto a phenomenal catch in the fourth ODI to remove Angelo Mathews for 22 off the bowling of Lungi Ngidi. Given the circumstances of the match, the catch failed to draw much media attention… but if you look closely you’ll see what an incredible effort it was.
He was the third-highest run scorer in the series, had the fourth highest individual score and shared in two of the highest partnerships for individual wickets.
It is, of course, hard to judge a wicketkeeper’s performance compared to a bowler in limited-overs cricket – Duminy’s contribution couldn’t be judged purely on wickets (he only picked up two in the five matches), as there are power plays and all sorts of things to factor in.
He did, however, have the fourth lowest economy rate in the series at 5.38, behind only Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj, although he was the only one of those three to play in all five matches. So that would have counted in his favour.
Wicketkeepers’ catches also can be misleading, as sometimes a keeper can take five in a match that are straightforward gentle nicks. Duminy certainly earned his praise for his performances, but I think it’s only right that De Kock gets a big shout out for his efforts in what was a great series win.
Quinton de Kock’s ODI series performance1st ODI – four catches, one stumping, 47 runs
- 2nd ODI – three catches, 87 runs
- 3rd ODI – two catches, two runs
- 4th ODI – two catches, 23 runs
- 5th ODI – three catches, 54 runs
Most runs in the ODI series
- Mathews – 235 – highest score 97 not out
- Duminy – 227 – highest score 92
- De Kock – 213 – highest score 87
Highest score in the ODI series
- RR Hendricks – 102 off 89 balls
- AD Mathews – 97 not out off 97 balls
- JP Duminy – 92 off 70 balls
- Q de Kock – 87 off 78 balls
Shared in two highest partnerships
- 1st wicket – 91 – De Kock & Amla
- 3rd wicket – 86 – De Kock & Du Plessis
Most dismissals by a wicketkeeper
- De Kock – 15 – 14 catches, 1 stumping
- Dickwella – one – 1 catch
The only areas De Kock was weak in was taking wickets with the ball in hand…
Most wickets in the series
- Dananjaya – 14 – best bowling 6-29
- Ngidi – 10 – best bowling 4-57
- Phehlukwayo – nine – best bowling 3-45
Speaking to the media after the final ODI, De Kock said he took great pride in his team’s bounce back to win the ODI series, despite losing the last two matches. He added that the ability to put the Test series loss aside to win the ODI series 3-2 speaks volumes about the squad’s character.
‘To come to Sri Lanka and the sub-continent, it is always difficult to win series’ here,’ he said after the disappointing 178-run loss on Sunday. ‘We saw in the Test matches – it was never easy for us. We came into the ODI’s down, and winning the first few matches and the series is pleasing for us as a team. To do it in the first few matches is a big plus, it was never easy initially but we did it.’
The selectors used the last two matches as an opportunity to change up the combinations, which more importantly, placed greater responsibility on the young attack to front up without either of Rabada or Ngidi in each of the matches. Ngidi finished as the top wicket-taker for the Proteas with 10 scalps, while Rabada was the most economical against Sri Lanka’s big hitters.
‘Those two are high-class bowlers,’ De Kock said of Rabada and Ngidi. ‘They have been around for a while in Test matches and T20’s as well. They are always looking to take wickets, they naturally take wickets and they strike upfront in all formats. That is why we have given some of the new guys like Junior Dala and the other seam bowlers a chance to learn how to take wickets and how to bowl in certain situations. That is one positive we will take from the two matches.
‘When you play the young guys there will always be mistakes made,’ he admitted. ‘As long as you learn from it going forward, that is all that matters.’
Duminy’s value in the squad was the highlight of the series. The all-rounder scored 227 runs at an average of 57 – with a strike rate of 136 – and contributed with good control with the ball and energy in the field to take the Player of the Series award.
‘JP has come into the series with a free mindset – it has worked well for him,’ the captain said in praise. ‘He is also offloading that mindset onto the team, he is leading the boys well from a batting, bowling and fielding perspective, he is an all-round unit. It is great to have him with us in the mood that he is, he will be a big part of our team going forward.’
The Proteas will play in a one-off T20 International on Tuesday as the curtain-call of the tour.