The countdown to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 has begun.
There’s excitement in the air.
Thankfully, we are far from the tension at this moment. Who knows what July 14, 2019 might bring?
But a thing can be said for certain before the final of the ICC World Cup 2019 is played.
There will be nerves. Obviously. Right?
Needless to say, panic might just set in with every disturbed timber, shattered stump, ravaged cricket ball or with the aching arm of the umpire signaling a fall of a wicket.
India might win.
England, in their home conditions, with someone like Joe Root, Morgan, Stokes and that bench strength whose depth is akin to the Amazon river could be the bullies all would guard against.
Wait, there’s more flavor to add to the hysteria that’s just around the corner. Gayle seems to be in the form of his life. Azam and Fakhar will be keen to execute a few punches. Perera will look to inspire Mendis, Dickwella and company.
That said, we know Kane is able, and heck could well do what’s often expected out of New Zealand.
And that’s winning the World Cup- what else?
Ditto for the Proteas
Can they win?
While the answer to that question lies in the lap of the future, a thing can be said for certain in this great game of glorious uncertainties.
Quinton de Kock would command the attention of the bowlers as also of the captains.
Unfortunately, the Sri Lankans, the great suffers from the thrashing the leftie’s administered, are yet to learn a key lesson, one for which no cricketing school anywhere runs a coaching manual.
How do you stop Quinton de Kock, hammerer of Sri Lanka in the Third ODI just completed at Kingsmead?
What stood out in South Africa’s D/L win over the seemingly exhausted opponents wasn’t just the manner in which de Kock paced his inning; when he went past his fifty, he had already registered the twentieth of his young career.
Rather, it was the statistical output from Quinton de Kock’s blade that spliced the game and eventually, penned its fortune.
In a majorly one-sided contest that South Africa was anyways on their way to clinching before inclement weather decided to intervene like an uninvited guest, de Kock scored 121.
This interestingly was the collective tally Sri Lankans managed
Need one say more? Wait, there’s certainly a lot.
The 16 boundaries complemented the 2 striking sixes carved with power and precise focus, reminding one of all of a series that perhaps no Protean fan may ever be able to forget.
Truth be told, when the dashing left-hander walks out to bat, as evident in his recent outings, you are reminded of a Tarantino film set.
While in Hollywood, the master narrator breathes life into acrimonious gun-slinging action sequences, unchaining the Django as only he can, the Quinton with the Proteas fires Scud missiles in the form of blazing cover drives and rasp cuts from seemingly unlimited ammo.
In case you were left wondering how on earth did Sri Lanka- responsible for scripting perhaps one of Test Cricket’s greatest upsets, well, inspiring wins for many- were left head-scratching in the ODI series, then, well, Quinton de Kock is the answer.
From the last few appearances, that include 3 ODIs and 2 Tests, the Gauteng-born has compiled knocks of 121, 94, 81, 86, and 80.
The last two in the series of back-to-back milestone knocks include performances against Sri Lanka in the Jo’burg and Port Elizabeth Tests.
While it’s worthwhile to note that his ODI form has been terrific, amplified by a soaring current average of 45- including 14 hundreds- where Tests stand, an average nearing 40- including 4 hundreds- tells us something about the baby-faced mauler’s caliber.
It was back in 2013-14 series when a 21-year-old Quinton de Kock decided to unleash himself on anyone and everyone from an Indian contingent that eventually turned out to be more bearable than real estate ads on the radio.
Of the 342 he collected, sixes and fours were dealt in a fashion akin to a stock trader being told the market had imploded.
While most may not remember that playing in only his fourth ODI series then, his first against India, de Kock set the record for grabbing 3 back-to-back “Man of the match awards,” what everyone would have to guard against is the ephemeral touch he seems to be in.
But that said make no mistake, the youngster behind the numbers isn’t perhaps the best against off-spin- is he?
Possessing a keen eye for destruction, one doesn’t quite know how to stop the barrage of hits that Dhoni’s India had to endure at the back of 1 consecutive hat tricks in 2013.
The cumulative despair was India’s in 2013, as ensured by Quinton de Kock, 342 fearlessly compiled runs that gave men like AB de Villers, Hashim Amla and around.
Not that a lot has changed
This time too, there’s an outflow of heart-wrenching commitment; of the kinds, we spotted amid sufferers who traveled all the way to South Africa to get awe-struck by Faf’s team.
Above anything, it doesn’t appear that Quinton de Kock’s complaining; well are you, dude?