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Everything came together – de Kock pleased with series-levelling win

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

South Africa captain Quinton de Kock hailed his side’s all-round prowess in registering a convincing win against India in their final T20I, fighting back after the Mohali loss to level the series 1-1.

South Africa restricted India to a below-par 134-9 before completing the chase with 3.1 overs to spare. De Kock, who steered the chase with an unbeaten 52-ball 79, was delighted with how his team bounced back, given the comprehensive defeat in Mohali.

“Coming into the series, we worked really hard on our catching and fielding in general,” he said. “It is a good feeling to see everything coming together, from a captain’s point of view and from the team’s point of view. It is nice to see that hard work pays off.”

De Kock lavished praise on left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin, who struck twice in the 13th over to remove Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer and dented India’s progress in the middle overs, conceding only 19 runs from three overs.

“I am impressed with Bjorn Fortuin, the young spinner,” de Kock said. “The Indian team is very good at playing spinners, and to bowl the way he did, I can only praise him at the highest level. I’m very happy for him.”

The wicket-keeper batsman also said bowling first after losing the toss gave his team a chance to assess the conditions better, and plan accordingly while chasing. “I’m not to sure whether or not it was an advantage,” he said. “I think we had a chance to read the conditions quicker and we did that well.

“We played the cricket that the wicket allowed us to. The conditions are generally better to bat against the new ball in India. The wickets tend to get a bit slower as the innings progresses.

“They put a lot of pressure on us in the first four overs [of the chase] and kept it very tight, not giving many bad balls. The ball was swinging and also sticking in the wicket. We just had to soak up the pressure. I think the guys fought back really well [after the loss in the last game], they read the conditions well and stuck to their plans to keep all the pressure on India.”

De Kock, who completed 1,000 runs in T20Is during the game – the joint second-fastest wicketkeeper to do so [37 innings] – also received words of praise from teammate Rassie van der Dussen. “Quinton is a world-class player. We came here with a goal to win and send a strong message, and the captain led from the front.”

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