South Africa v India, 3rd ODI, Centurion December 11, 2013

De Kock laughs off Ishant's 'lucky' remark


De Kock responds to Ishant's 'lucky' remark

There were a few sniggers in the pressroom when India fast bowler Ishant Sharma said that Quinton de Kock, who scored three consecutive hundreds in the ODI series, had "been quite lucky."

When asked if India were sick and tired at the sight of de Kock at the wicket, and if they were relieved he was not part of the Test squad, Ishant said: "I think he has been quite lucky. I can say that. Because the ball is getting in between fielders, he is getting top edges, players have been dropping catches off him. I think, you have to take positives. If he is scoring, good for him. What we can do is more important."

Minutes later, de Kock and his captain AB de Villiers had a laugh about it. "He was telling the truth," de Kock said, folding his arms and trying to hide his laughter. "I did get a bit lucky today. There were two dropped catches and I was really angry with myself. I just had to go back into my bubble again."

De Kock, on 37, had offered Ajinkya Rahane a regulation chance at short fine leg, and he also gave Yuvraj Singh an opportunity at mid-on six runs later. Neither catch was taken and de Kock was shaken by his carelessness, in conditions "where you had to fight for runs upfront."

De Kock's only rash move after those reprieves was on 99, when he charged Mohammed Shami and mis-timed the ball. In the commentator's box Herschelle Gibbs, whom de Kock joined as one of five batsmen to score three successive ODI hundreds, was impressed because he believed the young batsman had showed guts. At the non-striker's end, de Villiers, who also has three straight ODI tons, was not. He marched towards de Kock to have a word.

"I don't remember what he said," de Kock admitted, after the game had been washed out. De Villiers, who was sitting beside him, put on an expression of mock shock. "You don't remember anything," he joked. De Kock blushed a little while the people in the room laughed, and de Villiers explained what he had told the newest member of his team.

"I spoke to him twice," de Villiers said. "I spoke to him before the start of the game today and I told him never to be satisfied. And then I spoke to him when he was the 90s. Anyway, he can't remember anything."

De Kock does remember that this was, "one of the harder hundreds of these last three," and not only because of the conditions. South Africa had been in trouble at 28 for 3 and de Kock did not have the support of Hashim Amla in this game. He said the innings - 101 off 120 balls - showed how he had matured "I think I have grown a lot," he said. "My confidence was never there before. It has grown a lot. My work ethic has grown as well."

Despite de Kock being in such rich form, South Africa's selectors did not pick him for the two Tests against India. He simply accepted he has more work to do to play the longer format at the top level. "I'm sure anybody would love to be part of the Test squad, but I will have to go back to four-day cricket, bide my time and hopefully score some runs there.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nemo on December 17, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    if it weren't for Quinny, i think ishant wouldn't have had the opportunity to make such remarks in the first place as Quinny was responsible for hitting Mohit Sharma out of the attack.....

  • mark on December 14, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    This young DeCock scoring consecutive 3 centuries against so called #1 ODI team is a real shame to India...India is a one sided team that can score in flat tracks so by strategy itself India ignore their bowlers, that works in india,but in abroad that doesnt .hence India cant win a macthes when even ground is provided for bat & ball and this is what happend to such a one sided batting team (not a cricket team),lucky escape from 3-0 white wash thanks to rain God....Good luck SA for rest of the series.

  • Al on December 13, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    Ishant Sharma is indeed "lucky" to be still playing for India in spite of his mediocre bowling average of 39. In any other country he would have been thrown out long time ago.

  • kabelo on December 13, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    guys plz tell me how high/low Sanju Samson and Praveen Kumar are ranked in India? we have thought here in SA that Sanju would of broken into that first team by now...plz let us know what you think and Praveen has an amazing ability, you don't think so?

  • Waleed on December 13, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    India's woes continue in south africa...past record in south africa shows the same...well its a wake up call for team India that Cricket is not to be played in India only ...

  • Waleed on December 13, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    Well Ishant was lucky to be still in South africa, after performing poorly in the recent past...raher than Praising Quinty,Ishant's statement shows his mentality...his caliber...that what he is...!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    I dont think india is a no1 side, just one series win indians go gaga about their abilities, except for south africa, countries like australia and westindies lack the same ability and ferociounes they had in their game as in the early 70`s and 80`ee s. moreover the indian ipl has made some of the foreign players less hostile in India. The greatest player to have played for india was sunil gavaskar and the best fast bowler was jayagal srinath.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    Guys i hope u didn't forget Ind run chase against Aus fast bowlers in Ind. 350+ in just 45+/- overs. and they repeated in again n again in that series. but then the same team with its all high spirit was getting all out inside the 50 overs and losing by a lead of over 100 runs. (3rd ODI against SA would have been the same story). when Aug was no. 1 they proved it to be no.1 all over the world on any conditions.

  • David on December 13, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    @ gaga001 believes " South Africa can not beat india in india at all because india has improved a lot, i m sure india has learnt a good lesson here and will improve in the coming era."

    In SA in ODIs SA have won 21, India have won 5. In India in ODIs SA have won 10, India have won 13.

    Histroy just repeated itself. India got hammered in SA. No reason to think that things will change when SA pays in India.

    In tests in India, SA have won 5 and India have won 5. They are drawn in tests in India. In SA India have won 2 tests, and SA have won 7.

    SA have completely dominated India in SA, and competed with India on the SC. SA even took a test series by a whitewash in India.

    Nothing on this tour hsd indicated that history will not repeat itself. India are always the underdogs in bi-laterals in SA, and on a par with SA in India. The major reason is that, apart from India's greats - Tendulkar, Dravid & Laxman, Indian batsmen are clueless against real pace bowling.

    Whitewash for South Africa

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    Ishant was indeed very lucky to have picked up 4 wickets in this match. Ishant normally goes wicketless and concedes one of the highest numbers of runs amongst all the Indian bowlers. DK is an upcoming SA batsmen and has established himself as a steady opener. He has hit all the Indian bowlers all over the park and scored 3 consecutive 100s. "LUCKY" I don't think so. I think Ishant should concentrate on his bowling more than saying anything else.

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