South African legend AB de Villiers has said that Quinton de Kock’s record-breaking run during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 has not come as a surprise as he “has always been very special”. While de Villiers is generally regarded as one of the best South African batters of recent times, de Kock has put his name up in the lights with a string of superb individual performances at the World Cup in India. De Kock already has four centuries to his name – the equal-second most by an individual at a Men’s Cricket World Cup – and the 545 runs he has amassed through seven innings is the highest ever achieved by any South African batter in a single edition of the tournament.
The record-breaking run by de Kock has come as no surprise to de Villiers, who has always held his former teammate in the upper echelon of players to come from South Africa.
“He has always been very special to me since the very first day I watched him play,” de Villiers said in India as quoted by ICC.
“Quinnie showed that he was just a class above anyone else. I have never really seen anyone hit the ball on the up consistently like he does and he has always maintained that form.”
“Yes, one or two failures here or there, but he has always had the ability to bounce back,” he concluded.
De Kock’s four centuries over the last month in India means the left-hander now has 21 ODI centuries to his name, four less than the 25 ODI tons that de Villiers managed during his long and distinguished white-ball career that stretched more than 13 years.
De Villiers even scored an astonishing 482 runs for his country during the 11th edition of the World Cup in Australia in 2015, but de Kock has already surpassed that tally during his sensational run in India.
“I think it is the best I have ever seen him play in a World Cup,” de Villiers added.
“He certainly seems to be at home, he has got a point to prove and he looks calm while he is doing it. South Africa needs him to give us that solid start as often as possible as it is really good for the middle overs if we get that solid start,” he added.
With just one loss through seven matches in India and de Kock in fine form, de Villiers believes the Proteas are well on their way to qualifying for the semi-finals for the World Cup for the fifth time in their history and progressing even further this time around.
“At the moment the batting order is really good all round, and there is an all-round belief in each other and the bowlers,” de Villiers noted.
“Everyone that was being doubted at the start of the tournament is starting to show form so, all in all, things are coming together and hopefully we will go all the way,” he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article