The Proteas are aware of the hard work ahead against a ‘determined’ Australian line-up as they hunt a victory in the second Test match in Hobart.
Wicket-keeper batsman, Quinton de Kock, has stressed the importance of breaking the unbeaten 42-run stand between in-form batsmen Usman Khawaja (56 not out) and Steve Smith (18 not out), as the bowlers look to make inroads in conducive conditions.
De Kock, whose second Test century was the highlight of the rain-affected third day, teamed up with Temba Bavuma (74) in a record 144-run sixth-wicket partnership to give the Proteas the upper-hand in the series-deciding encounter.
‘We are confident, but it’s not going to be easy,’ said De Kock.
‘The Aussies are batting really well on that wicket. We are going to have to see what happens tomorrow. Usman is batting exceptionally well, he has a good game plan and Steve Smith, as always, is contributing to the team. They are only two wickets down with a lead of 120 or so, there is still a lot of work ahead of us but we are still fairly confident.
‘As a player, I always take a lot of satisfaction when contributing to the team in any match or any format,’ he said of his hundred.
‘I’m happy with what we have achieved but the game has only just gone past half-way, we still have a lot to do. Australia look determined in their second innings, there is a lot to play for, hopefully, we can counter that tomorrow.’
De Kock’s role and impact in the lower-order has been compared to that of former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman, Adam Gilchrist, because of his attacking nature and his ability to change the pace of play. His century came off only 139 balls, a fluent innings after the disappointment of failing to convert his two-half centuries in the first Test in Perth.
‘I don’t try to be like him, that is just the way I play,’ he said of the comparison.
‘I don’t see myself like him, I just see the ball and hit the ball. I have my own game plans, that’s the way I like to play. Some days I can get off to a good start and keep a good momentum for the team and some days I’m going to have to grind it out. Certain conditions will determine how I play.’