Ottis Gibson says Quinton de Kock has been working hard at learning how to maintain consistency and form.
The 25-year-old has struggled for form recently. He played 19 Tests in the last 18 months but only managed an average of 30.43 which included only one century and six half-centuries.
Compared to his promising start to his career, where he scored at an average of 50.47 in the first 14 matches including two centuries and seven 50s, De Kock’s performances have been scrutinised.
‘Quinton has performed well in the past. He hasn’t really reformed to that level recently and it is always difficult to maintain your level over a long period of time,’ said Gibson about De Kock on Sunday.
‘That is a challenge for any international cricketer – to try and get to a place where you can consistently maintain a level over a period of time.
‘Quinton has been playing international cricket for four years or so, so he is still learning how to maintain consistency and form over a period of time.’
Gibson ruled out the possibility of playing two seamers and two spinners in the first Test starting on 12 July, which will see an extra batsman sacrificed.
This will put extra pressure on De Kock’s role as the protector of the lower order.
‘Our fast bowling has been the bedrock of our success for a long time and I am pretty sure we will continue with three seamers.’
Despite the extra pressure, Gibson believes in De Kock’s ability.
’He knows he will need to score runs in the middle order. If we play two spinners, we will most likely take a batsman out, so there is more of an onus on him to score runs in that No 6 position,’ he added.
’He’s working very hard and I’m very confident that when the time comes he will make the runs that are necessary to win any match.’
The wicket-keeper batsman will definitely face a tougher challenge to find form, especially with Gibson confirming that De Kock’s middle-order partner in recent times, Temba Bavuma, will be moved to the No 4 position.
Bavuma had the opportunity to play at No 4 in the warm-up match against the Sri Lanka Board XI and scored a steady 58 off 103 balls.
‘This match has given everyone an opportunity,’ Gibson continued.
‘Temba had an opportunity at four and played very well. If you look around the team he is one of our best players of spin so he is someone who can do very well in these sort of conditions.’
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