Captain Quinton de Kock hailed the positive impact of all-rounder Jon-Jon Smuts, after the Proteas completed a seven-wicket win over England in Tuesday’s first ODI at Newlands in Cape Town.
Smuts, on ODI debut, took the key wicket of Jason Roy and later hit the winning runs. The result gave the hosts an early lead in the three-match series. The second ODI will be played at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday. The Wanderers in Johannesburg will host the third and final ODI on Sunday.
‘It was a good night. We are glad to get a win on the board. It feels good to get back to winning ways. This week we had a chat about how to take the ODI team forward and this was a good start to that,’ said De Kock, who was named Player of the Match after scoring a century.
‘It’s always nice to have two spinners. Smuts is an all-round package, so it is very nice to have options like that.
‘It was a matter of getting momentum. Running hard between the wickets was the way to go forward and that was the way we went about it.’
De Kock recently succeeded former ODI captain Faf du Plessis, with Tuesday marking a successful start to his tenure. The new ODI captain, though, relishes the responsibility of opening the batting, keeping wicket and leading the XI.
‘It’s only one game so far, we’ll see how it goes in the near future. Hopefully, it keeps on being good for me. I enjoyed it. It kept me in the game, especially when things were really tough. The extra bit of responsibility helped me,’ he concluded.
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