Bengaluru, December 10: South Africa are going through rough waters. On the field, they had recently lost an away series against India 0-3 after beginning the tour on a bright note. But they are facing an even bigger crisis off it with South African Cricketers Association and Cricket South Africa at loggerheads.
South Africa are scheduled to face England in a three-match series from December 26, and Quinton de Kock told MyKhel that Proteas have the wherewithal to turn it around.
"I've been around and all these cricketers too have been around for a long time now and we know how to deal with losses and crisis. We have the confidence and skills to turn our fortunes around the next series," said De Kock, who made a fine hundred against India in the first Test Visakhapatnam.
Does the team get bogged down amidst a tough tour to India and all the off-field happenings? De Kock didn't think so. "Right now, we are playing the Mzansi Super League (MSL) and we will begin our preparation for the series against England once the MSL is out of our way. I am sure it (the series against England) is going to be a keenly contested one and they are a good side too. It's going to be a good, competitive series and I am looking forward to it."
De Kock started the tour to India with a belligerent century in the first innings of the first Test at Visakhapatnam. But De Kock and the team faded as the series progressed. The wicketkeeper batsman acknowledged the downward curve without dwelling too much on the setback.
"I think as the tour progressed, India continued their push and it became difficult for us to get a chance in any of the game. That said, we are confident of turning things around in the series against England," said De Kock.
Sooner than later, South Africa might be on the lookout for a successor to Faf du Plessis and De Kock's name will be featuring high on the list. But the left-hander wasn't ready to think too far ahead but said he will be happy to shoulder the responsibility. "The way I see it, Faf still has it (captaincy), I was just a replacement (in the T20I series against India). If it does come my way then so be it, I will honour it and do the best I can for the team and country," he said.
De Kock, who captains Cape Town Blitz in the MSL 2019, has been hitting some right notes in the T20 format for a while now and he said playing in the tournament was fun and easy that has loosened up players after a tough tour of India. "It's been a fun and easy one, good tournament, team has been easy to run with the help of senior guys and coach Ashwell (Prince)," he said.
De Kock was the player of the tournament and the top-scorer of MSL 2018 and was quite satisfied to see the progress of the tournament that is into its second year. "Standard of cricket is already better than the first edition so it is growing naturally and it's a great platform for youngsters to get to play amongst a lot of top international local and foreign players," he said.
And he is focused on helping Blitz, the 2018 finalists, in going a step further and at present they are placed fifth in the six-team tournament with 19 points from 10 matches. "That was a year ago (being the finalists and the man of the series, and I've started off fresh this year. The main thing is to try and get the team over the line and if I can contribute to that then it's great overall," he said.
Despite a 0-3 series defeat in Tests, South Africa made a good impression in the T20I series against India, drawing it 1-1. De Kock played a match-winning 52-ball 79 at Bengaluru and he was also player of the series for making two fifties. He had made a 37-ball 52 at Mohali.
Does this augur well for South Africa as the ICC T20 World Cup is drawing closer? "Still a long way away, and we've only played 2 T20 games and a lot more games until the World Cup. So we will sit down and plan properly as it goes along," he said.