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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur

Still learning about Indian conditions: de Kock

A keen student, young Lions’ batsman speaks about learning from seniors

The shy and soft-spoken 20-year-old Quinton de Kock has impressed since his teenage days. Brought into the Highveld Lions fold ahead of the Champions League Twenty20 2012, the wicketkeeper-batsman has been an integral part of the team ever since. His half-century in a match-winning partnership during the tournament in South Africa last year, resulted in him earning a call-up to the national side in the shorter formats of the game and a debut in the Indian Premier League for the Sunrisers Hyderabad last season.

de Kock is now back in India with the Lions for the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 2013. Although he did spend some time here during the Indian Premier League earlier this year, the youngster says that he is still learning about playing in India. “Yes, I have been here before, but I am still learning the conditions here. In the IPL, I played only three games,” he said while talking to clt20.com in Jaipur.

“The conditions are always different in different places, so I say I am still learning of different wickets and all that,” he added.

Asked what he has learnt about batting in the subcontinent, especially from his veteran teammates in SRH, he replied, “I have picked some tips. I am still working on it though because this is not really where I play. I come here only maybe only a couple of weeks (...) I am fine tuning into the situation as and when it comes.”

However, when pressed further and asked if he could share what in particular, has helped him, de Kock mentioned, “Just playing a lot straighter.”

The youngster also has had the opportunity to learn from stalwarts like Neil McKenzie and captain of the Lions team, Alviro Petersen. Speaking about their influence on him, he said, “They are good people to have in your team. They are very experienced and they are always sharing their knowledge and you have to just pick from them and they are always there to help you and you learn quickly.”

The prolific batsman is also an exciting prospect behind the wickets. Although he has not been ‘keeping regularly given that there are other options in the teams that he represents, while discussing the difference – if at all there is any – while ‘keeping in South Africa and in India considering the way the ball travels, he observed, “No there is no difference. Maybe, just slight bounce and spinning, for spinners; but other than that, no. If you just keep training, then there shouldn’t be a problem.”

The gloveman loves to bat in the opening slot. While speaking about his role in the team, he said, “My role is to get the team off to a good start and then hopefully carry it through the whole innings.”

The Highveld Lions will be taking on IPL 2013 champions, Mumbai Indians, in their next match. Having played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium against the Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday, asked how he has prepared for the next face-off at the venue, de Kock who had been toiling in the nets along with the rest of the team was not keen to reveal much. He said, “We will look to stick to our game plans.” 

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