India in South Africa 2013-14 December 12, 2013

Runs and records for de Kock

Shiva Jayaraman
The three-match ODI series was a special one for Quinton de Kock, who became only the fifth batsman to score three successive ODI centuries

Quinton de Kock's ODI career figures weren't remarkable till November this year, having scored just 399 runs from 13 innings at 30.69. In one of those innings he had scored 112, which means that he averaged just 23.91 in the other 12 innings. These were quite ordinary figures that didn't quite justify replacing Graeme Smith, who has had similar numbers in ODIs in 2013. Smith has scored 291 runs at 26.45 from 11 innings, with one century against New Zealand in Potchefstroom.

But de Kock showed promise with his 112 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last month. He became the youngest South Africa batsman - at 20 years and 326 days - to hit an ODI century, replacing Jacques Kallis from the top of that list. Kallis was 22 years and 92 days old when he hit his maiden ODI century against New Zealand in Perth in 1998.

The three-match ODI series against India, though, has expelled any doubts about de Kock's place in South Africa's ODI team. He has scored 342 runs in this series at 114.00 - the most any batsman has scored in a three-match bilateral series in ODIs. Only two other batsmen have scored in excess of 300 runs in such series - Martin Guptill, in New Zealand's series against England earlier this year, and Brendan Taylor, against New Zealand in 2011. De Kock's 342 runs in this series are also the seventh-highest runs scored by a South Africa batsman in any bilateral ODI series.

No batsman has scored more than three hundreds in a series, bilateral or otherwise. Including de Kock, there are 15 instances of batsmen scoring three hundreds in an ODI series. But all the those batsmen, aside from de Kock, have batted more than three times to score those hundreds.

He's become only the fifth batsman in ODIs to hit three consecutive hundreds. AB de Villiers was the last one to do this back in 2010. Before de Kock, Zaheer Abbas was the only batsman to get all his three hundreds against one team, with India on the receiving end of that little spell as well. In fact, of these 15 hundreds scored, nine have been against India.

Three centuries in a row in any format of the game usually signifies a hunger for getting runs. De Kock's shown that hunger at a fairly early stage of his career compared to the others who've achieved this feat. Before de Kock, Zaheer was the youngest in terms of experience, at 40 ODIs when he hit three consecutive hundreds, but by then he was aged over 35. Herschelle Gibbs and de Villiers, the other South Africa batsmen to hit three consecutive hundreds in ODIs, achieved it when they had played 105 ODIs and 93 ODIs respectively.

Batsmen with three consecutive ODI hundreds, career numbers when record achieved
Batsman Mat Inns Runs 100s Age at the time of record
Quinton de Kock 16 16 741 4 20 years, 359 days
Saeed Anwar 41 40 1350 6 25 years, 57 days
AB de Villiers 97 93 3435 7 26 years, 94 days
Herschelle Gibbs 105 105 3441 10 28 years, 222 days
Zaheer Abbas 36 36 1652 6 35 years, 181 days

All four of de Kock's hundreds have come before he's aged 21. He is only the second batsman in ODIs - after Paul Stirling of Ireland - to hit as many before turning 21. Only two other batsmen have managed three hundreds before that age - Tamim Iqbal and Shahriar Nafees of Bangladesh.

Batsmen with three or more ODI centuries before the age of 21
Batsman Mat Inns Runs 100s 50s Age
Quinton de Kock (SA) 16 16 741 4 0 20 years, 359 days
Paul Stirling (IRE) 32 32 1317 4 6 20 years, 312 days
Shahriar Nafees (BAN) 29 29 1058 3 5 20 years, 309 days
Tamim Iqbal (BAN) 74 74 2198 3 13 20 years, 345 days

Those are not the only records that de Kock's made in this series. He took four catches behind the wickets, in addition to the 106 runs he scored, in the second ODI against India - only the fifth player to do so in ODIs. Like with the consecutive hundreds, de Kock emulated de Villiers again, who was the last wicketkeeper-batsman to do so. Matching the rest of de Villiers' achievements in international cricket won't be easy, but de Kock's first year in ODI cricket has clearly raised expectations.

Shiva Jayaraman is a stats sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.com

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