Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has recently praised the South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock. He has compared de Kock’s batting with the legendary Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara and legendary Caribbean batsman Brian Lara.
South Africa are ready to begin their new chapter after the disappointing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, where they finished in the seventh position. On Sunday (15th September), they will play the opening T20I against the hosts India at Dharamshala. It will be their first international game after the CWC 2019 journey.
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Quinton de Kock will lead the Proteas side in this T20I series against India. Praising the Proteas left-handed batsman, Gautam Gambhir claimed that he always aspired to bat like de Kock usually did. Quinton de Kock’s in-form batting reminds Gambhir the batting of Kumar Sangakkara and Brian Lara like top left-handed batsmen.
Gambhir wrote in his column for TOI, “In the context of South Africa’s tour of India, the visitors may relate to this as this is their first international engagement after a forgetful World Cup campaign. I like Quinton de Kock. He is one of those gorgeous left-handers which I always aspired to be but could never be. In full flow, he reminds me of Kumara Sangakkara and Brian Lara. Hopefully, he delivers as a captain but not at the cost of curtailing fluidity of his batting.”
Earlier, de Kock led the South African side in two ODIs and they suffered defeats in both those games. But the upcoming Dharamshala T20I will be his first T20I captaincy experience.
Gautam Gambhir expects plenty of boundaries at Dharamshala
India and South Africa have played two T20Is in India, and South Africa won both those matches. In 2015, South Africa played a T20I against India at Dharamshala and the visitors chased down the 200 runs target in the final over.
Gambhir feels that the upcoming Dharamshala T20I also can be a high-scoring game if the pitch supports for batting.
He claimed, “India will be licking their lips at the idea of taking on a young, work-in-progress opposition. Dharamsala is not a very big arena. And being at the higher altitude, the science guys tell me that the ball travels faster because the air is thin. All this means there will be plenty of boundaries if the pitch is good for batting.”
It is another opportunity for young Indian batsmen to cement their place in the side
Like the previous T20I series against Windies in the USA and West Indies tour, the national selectors have once again given chances to many youngsters for the home T20I series against South Africa. Gambhir is excited to see them in this South Africa series.
He wrote, “It is another opportunity for young Indian batsmen to cement their place in the side. Manish Pandey looks much younger than his age of 29. Shreyas Iyer explained enough in the West Indies that he is a great deal more than the ‘South Bombay’ swag. KL Rahul is a force in white-ball format. Rishabh Pant is always exciting but he has to watch his back as my favourite Sanju Samson is throwing some serious challenges at him. It is an exciting series as there are a lot of individual battles going on considering the T20 World Cup next year.”
India and South Africa will play their next two T20Is of this series at Mohali (18th September) and Bengaluru (22nd September). After this series, they will be busy in the three-match Test series in October.