Quinton de Kock
December 17, 1992, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Left hand bat
Quinton de Kock's fearless striking and handy glovework have earned him comparisons to greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher, early in his career. By 21, de Kock shared the record for the most successive ODI centuries - three - before it was bettered by Kumar Sangakkara. A year later, he had established himself in all three formats.
De Kock grew up as a baseball player and even considered a move to the United States, but his father convinced him to pursue cricket instead. He attended King Edward VII High School, the alma mater of Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie, and was picked for the South African Under-19 side, which he captained briefly. The leadership mantle was taken away ahead of the 2012 World Cup in Australia in order for him to concentrate on his batting. It paid off as topped South Africa's batting charts with 284 runs from six matches at 47.33 and a best of 126.
De Kock was contracted to the Lions in 2012-13 and caught the national selectors' eyes when he starred in a match-winning partnership with Neil McKenzie in the Champions League T20 against Mumbai Indians. He also finished fourth on the first-class rankings, despite playing only six of the 10 matches that summer.
He was selected for South Africa's T20I series against New Zealand in 2012-13 to keep wickets in place of AB de Villiers, who asked to be rested. But he did not make much of a first impression on the international stage. After a lean series in Sri Lanka in July 2013, he was dropped.
De Kock returned in November that year and scored his first ODI century against Pakistan. A month later, he reeled off three in a row against India. Early in 2014, de Kock made his Test debut after Alviro Petersen took ill, but was only given a permanent place later that year, on a tour to Sri Lanka. He scored two half-centuries in his next three Tests, but then tore ankle ligaments during warm-up in a Test against West Indies in December.
The injury put de Kock at risk of missing the 2015 World Cup, but he recovered quickly. However, he struggled to find his old form and struggled through that tournament and a series against Bangladesh. Subsequently, he was dropped again and sent to the South African A side to find his touch. He did well for them in India and returned to the senior side, scoring two hundred in a five-match series against India and two more against England at home to reclaim his place.
De Kock also hit his stride in the shortest format, and scored his maiden half-century in the 2016 World T20. Along with two contributions in the 40s, he was South Africa's most successful batsman and was named in the ICC's team of the tournament.
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