Last week at this time, was unstoppable. He still doesn’t appear to be able to perform much correctly seven days later. Reeza Hendricks was an unimportant player in international white-ball competitions a week ago. He now appears to be a staple in the T20I team. Welcome, pilgrim, to the cricket hiker’s guide to the galaxy’s chapters on South Africa.
The fact that the third ODI at Headingley last Sunday was rained out was reduced to an asterisk by De Kock’s flawless 92. The outcome cannot possibly matter when a batter performs as sublimely well as he could, like a zen master at home in their garden. Don’t believe anything we say. Here is Socrates, the wise footballer and philosopher:
De Kock only had four ducks in 66 innings of T20I play when he made 2, 15, and 0 in the subsequent series. If we consider Temba Bavuma’s injury-related retirement from the India match in Rajkot in June, he had not been first out in any of his previous nine trips to the T20I crease.
On Sunday, July 31, De Kock, with 0 runs in the score, hit an uncharacteristically unsure drive to the third ball of the game, dragging David Willey onto his leg stump. De Kock has been a part of six T20I starting stands that have all been broken for nought, but on Sunday, his departure was the first to terminate a fruitless partnership-He has a tendency to contribute to the solution rather than the issue.
All of this is not meant to imply that De Kock’s shape is or is developing into a problem. In the forms he still plays in, he leads South Africa in runs scored among active players. He is also unquestionably the finest hitter of his generation in his own nation and is still going strong. Therefore, when he begins to falter, we should take a minute to reflect on the enchantment of even the great being made mortal.
Hendricks arrived in England having participated in 67 out of a possible 278 of South Africa’s white-ball matches since his debut in a T20I match vs Australia in Adelaide in November 2014. Since then, he has amassed T20I series innings of 57, 53, and 70, complicating the selection process for the World Cup in Australia in October and November. 4
De Kock struck 72, 60, and 60 against the West Indies in Grenada in June and July 2021 to become the latest South African player to achieve three half-centuries in T20 Internationals. Prior to this series, Hashim Amla & Aiden Markram were the only other South Africans on that list.
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