Kagiso Rabada has dismissed Virat Kohli twice each in Test matches and ODIs. One of them was the South African speedster’s first Test wicket. Over the last month, there has been anticipation over the renewed hostilities between the two stars and rookie Proteas captain Quinton de Kock believes it will be one of the highlights of the series.
“Both Virat and Rabada are good players in their own right. Obviously, Virat has been the best batsman across formats and Rabada too has been one of the world’s best since the last few years. Both of them like being positive in the way they play and it is great to watch the good competition,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said on the eve of the second T20I.
Referring to the recent contest between England and Australia, de Kock said: “We just watched the Ashes and Jofra Archer bowling. Archer is very aggressive the way he bowls and we all saw how Australia batted. It was good cricket and I could only think that good things will come and it will be great for the fans to watch when there is so much of competitiveness when the two teams face each other.”
De Kock is leading a 14-member South African team for the now truncated two-match series against India. Post the World Cup, South Africa Cricket compiled the squad mostly from their A side and domestic leagues.
The last time South Africa toured India, the visitors won the T20I series 2-0 and the ODI series 3-2, where de Kock was the third-highest scorer for the team with a total of 318 runs. Apart from Rabada, the T20 squad also has pacer Junior Dala, who has dismissed Rohit Sharma three times in the format.
Compared with India, whose top three Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have played a total of 219 T20Is, the whole South Africa team has featured in only 210 games with David Miller alone playing 70 T20Is.
The South African skipper was of the view that the young team will look to gain experience on the Indian tour.
“I think players like de Villiers, Amla, and du Plessis gave me a lot of room to play. I don’t see why that would change without them. Even players like them had to go through the same things we are going through right now. So the team will take it as it comes. We had a chat in the leadership group about how we are going to do things. We are still a young leadership team. Hopefully, we can learn through our mistakes,” said de Kock.
While the Indian team is expected to play more than 20 T20Is ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, South Africa is expected to play only nine during this period. De Kock rued the fact that the team lost an opportunity in Dharamshala but is looking forward to playing in Mohali, a ground where South Africa became the first international team to take the field when they played against India on November 22, 1993 during the Hero Cup.
“Obviously, it was a bit of negative. Now that we have only two games in this series, we better take our chances. The focus before the World T20 is to prepare in different conditions and to lose a game is not ideal. Now it is an interesting format with the series being of two matches whether we win or not,” said de Kock.