South Africa’s last tour of India was marred by a massive controversy when the Indians rolled out some absolute minefields for the test series against the Proteas. Former legends and analysts of the game had slammed India’s approach of exploiting South Africa’s weakness against spin and openly spoke against the nature of pitches used.
As expected, the South African batsmen struggled miserably against spin and lost the test series by a humiliating margin of 3-0. Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton De Kock missed out from the series, but now, in an interview, he said that he was “happy” to not play in that series. The southpaw spoke to TOI about that tour and opened up. Below are the excerpts from his interview.
South Africa’s struggles against spin. But you have done better than others.
I am actually one of the worst players of spin. There’s no way that Hashim, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis are not better players of spin. They got out to spinners. So what? If they get out to seamers, you can’t say that they can’t get the seamers away . Just because they couldn’t do it in India doesn’t mean they can’t get on top of spinners. It’s like Indian spinners are only good bowling in their country. Once they come out of their country, they don’t perform as well. It’s the same thing.
Does it hurt that you missed the Test series in India? It could have been a great opportunity to establish yourself.
After seeing the kind of pitches that were prepared, I was actually quite happy I wasn’t playing. I think they saved my career. To be honest, some of those pitches looked ridiculous. I am glad I missed those Tests.
Youngsters swoon to the crazy things AB de Villiers does with the bat. But he is also capable of the grind. In the Kotla Test, he dead-batted for almost for two days.
I wouldn’t do either of these things. I don’t try playing those shots.That’s his talent and there’s experience behind that talent. I don’t think I could have done what he did in a couple of Tests here. I would have played a couple slog sweeps, for sure. I don’t try the other things he does. If you are brave enough to put your chin on the line while playing those laps, then good for you.
De Villiers had to convince the public he is committed to South Africa’s Test cricket even as he signed a Caribbean Premier League contract.
It’s tough for him because everyone back home is wondering if he is going to retire. His age and him signing up in T20 leagues have raised questions. I don’t know why people do it. I think he still has five years in him.
You are now a senior player in the Daredevils set-up. Does all the experience gained here help when you go back to South Africa?
There’s a lot of younger guys than me. Mind you, I am just 23. I am senior here because I have some experience.But I know when I go back to the Proteas, I am still a baby. I am not senior there yet with all those many big names there. But I am sure I’ll start taking up that role soon.
You have a license to express yourself for South Africa, but so you have to curb yourself for Delhi since you are the main batsman?
No. I just look forward to smacking a few runs.