Photo Credit: BCCI
Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock says the Proteas are approaching their important clash against the Netherlands in the second Betway One-Day International as any other game ahead of the showdown at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.
South Africa have plenty riding on the remaining two games of the series, which they need to win in order to finish in the top eight of the ICC World Cup Super League table and automatically qualify for the finals in India later this year.
“Everyone knows the importance of these two games, but we’re just treating them like any other games,” De Kock told the media on Thursday. “We just have to make sure we come prepared and come out running. We know it won’t be easy, but we need to be professional and play the way we know we can. If we can do that, everything else should take care of itself.”
The first match of the series was played on 26 November 2021 at SuperSport Park and ended in a no result due to the weather. The Covid-19 pandemic subsequently forced the tour to be postponed.
The Proteas have been on the upward trajectory in ODIs in recent months, beating England and then drawing with West Indies in their most recent home series. They did, however, lose to the island nation in their most recent T20 International assignment – a thrilling three-game sequence that ended 2-1 to the tourists.
De Kock said: “It’s obviously quite nice that the guys got to spend time in the middle and found form during the West Indies series. We were disappointed to lose the series, but we were happy with the way we played.”
South Africa have also been playing some noticeably attracting cricket in recent months and the dashing opener says they are trying to be smarter about the way they were playing.
“We’re obviously trying to play an aggressive brand of cricket, but we’re also trying to be clever in the way we go about things… making sure we choose the right options, not just double stepping and trying to hit sixes all the time, it doesn’t work like that especially in the longer format,” he said. “We need to be clever, we need to be strategic with how we want to get more boundaries in a sense and build a bigger strike rate.
“So we are trying to attack more, but it’s a work in process for us. We know we will fail from time to time, but it’s been working for us and the guys are really enjoying it. It looks like the guys are really coming together with regard to this new way we want to go about playing.”
The match in Benoni is the first for the South Africans since they played Ireland in what was captain Temba Bavuma’s ODI debut match in September 2016.
Speaking about the venue, De Kock added: “It’s nice to be back here in Benoni. It’s been a while since my last game here, which was probably Temba’s debut. It’s generally a pretty decent wicket, hopefully the rain stays away so we can get down to playing some good cricket.”
Proteas ODI squad against Netherlands
Temba Bavuma (captain, DP World Lions), Quinton de Kock (Momentum Multiply Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (DP World Lions), Reeza Hendricks (DP World Lions), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sisanda Magala (DP World Lions), Aiden Markram (Momentum Multiply Titans), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Wayne Parnell (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (DP World Lions).
South Africa Betway One-Day International Series against Netherlands
Friday, 31 March at 13:00
South Africa vs Netherlands – Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Sunday, 02 April at 10:00 (Betway Pink Day)
South Africa vs Netherlands – DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg