Quinton de Kock’s fourth Test century could prove critical as the Proteas look to bowl Pakistan out on a wicket where the batsmen enjoyed good fortune for most of day three of the third Test at the Wanderers. But De Kock admits that he couldn’t have done it without his tail-end partners.
‘Batting with the tail can sometimes be one of the tougher jobs in the team. You want to score as many runs as you can, but they end up putting all the fielders on the boundary so you get caught up in what to do, so it’s quite a tricky situation you find yourself in,’ De Kock told the media at the end of play on Sunday.
‘I think I’ve been caught up in that situation once or twice where I’ve thrown my wicket away, but I’m still learning – I’ve only played 30-odd Tests, so I’m still trying to figure out my way to go about it. It’s quite an art.’
De Kock added that the late runs contributed by the tail were important, as the wicket is playing nicely and the Proteas will be grateful for the extra runs cushion they have thanks to the tail as they look to bowl Pakistan out on the fourth day of the Test to clinch a 3-0 series whitewash.
‘KG came in and gave me confidence, said to me he was going to be here for me till the end, which he did, batted superbly. Vern also (until he) got a good nut, so that’s unfortunate, but it was nice to know that when KG walked in he was going to give me that confidence,’ added De Kock.
The wicketkeeper-batsman joked that Rabada will face more than just a fine at the end of the match following a mixup in the middle when De Kock was hoping to get to his century quickly.
‘(We’ll) nick them off, all seven, hopefully,’ smiled De Kock when asked how the Proteas are feeling about preventing Pakistan from scoring the 228 runs they still need for victory. ‘I think it’s going to be quite tough. The wicket is playing quite well at the moment, so we’ll have a chat about it tonight. They’ve got a couple of decent batsmen still in the mix so we have to box cleverly tomorrow. We’ve only got (about) 220 runs more runs to play with (and) they’ve got guys who are more than capable of getting that on this wicket, but hopefully we’ll come out strong.’