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Ponting and Vaughan heaps praises on SA keeper Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock
Vernon Philander and Quinton de Kock of South Africa walk from the ground. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

After South Africa registered a massive 177-run victory over Australia in the first Test of the 3-match series at the WACA, Proteas keeper Quinton de Kock has come into limelight for his commendable performances with the willow. The 23-year old was a sensation to watch in both the innings of the match and has drawn him comparisons with the legendary Australian keeper Adam Gilchrist by none other than Gilchrist’s skipper, Ricky Ponting.

Ashes and World Cup winning Australian captain Ponting was all praise for the young wicketkeeper-batsman as he opined Quinton was the closest one could be in comparison to the fabulous Gilchrist. The Australian great had pillaged 17 centuries and 26 half centuries during his 8-year long Test career with a strike rate of 82 batting predominantly at number seven in the order, transforming the game with his play.

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Ponting and former England skipper Michael Vaughan expect the young SA wicketkeeper-batsman to take up a similar role on the field. Cricket Australia website quoted Ponting saying, “He’s probably the closest keeper-batsman to Adam Gilchrist that we’ve seen since he retired.”

Adding to it further he said, “He plays off the front foot, he’s strong off the back foot, but it’s the rate that he scores at that’s the most impressive. Just the way he’s able to come in and really dictate to the bowlers the way he wants to play.” He even claimed de Kock to be South Africa’s best option for the position of Number seven, after de Kock played two superb innings of 84 and 64 in the match coming in at that position.

Also read- Kagiso Rabada was phenomenal on a deck that was still good to bat on: Faf du Plessis

Vaughan though did not wish to compare him with Gilchrist so soon. Putting forward a similar opinion to that of Ponting, he praised the great show put on by the Proteas keeper. “It’s a big shout because there’s been some outstanding wicketkeeper-batsmen and Adam Gilchrist led the way. But I think he’s the closest to Adam Gilchrist, I really do.”,

Quinton already boasts an average over 50 in the 11 Tests that he has played so far, coming mostly at No. 6 or 7 and had also scored 82 and 50 coming to open the innings earlier this year. He has a century and 6 half-centuries registered to his name. He also has 11 centuries in the 69 ODIs he has appeared for his team, with a strike rate of 94 and average of 43.85.

The baby faced de Kock regularly opens for his team in the ODIs, much like Gilchrist did for most of his career, and his recent exploit of 178 in the ODI series against Australia with his innings boasting of 16 fours and 11 sixes has also given more wind to the comparison. “It was one hell of an innings,” Australian skipper Steve Smith had said after the match.

“I thought we started off quite poorly with the ball … and from there it just looked like he got in a rhythm, and it felt like every ball was going to the boundary at one point.” Smith was one of the one of the Australians who had rushed to congratulate de Kock after his dismissal for the knock he played.

Also read- Australia v South Africa, 1st Test – 5 Talking Points

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