De Kock rolls with the punches

File image: Quinton de Kock of the Cape Town Blitz.File image: Quinton de Kock of the Cape Town Blitz.

Proteas captain Quinton de Kock lamented Sunday’s defeat to England in the third and final ODI at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

England reached a testing 257-run target with two wickets and 40 deliveries to spare. The result saw the three-match series end in a draw amid attractive Betway markets. South Africa won the first ODI at Newlands in Cape Town. The second ODI at Kingsmead in Durban was washed out.

“We thought it was getting tight. We had a bit of a sniff, but it’s still a loss at the end of the day. It was cool to make it tough for the English guys,” said de Kock, who succeeded former ODI captain Faf du Plessis on a full-time basis earlier this year.

“The captaincy takes some getting used to. It is different in quite a lot of ways, but the guys help me on and off the field, I’m just there to make the final decisions,” added de Kock.

“The energy has stood out. We’ve got a young team, but they had a lot of energy on the field and I enjoyed that.”

England captain Eoin Morgan hailed the performances of left-arm spinner Moeen Ali and leg-spinner Adil Rashid. Their collective figures were four for 93 in 20 overs, which obliged those who bet on them Betway secure online sportsbook. Rashid took three wicket’s to Ali’s one.

“I thought we bowled well. Adil and Mo coming in and showing their value, Adil with the control and variation he was outstanding. I thought the chase was well within our grasp, and it was disappointing to limp over the line. I thought we should have done it four or five down with the partnerships we had,” said Morgan.

“So there’s lots there. It was probably our best performance in the field and with the ball, and it was nice to come back and play like that. On a wicket that exposes our weaknesses as a batting team, we need to get better at that.”

Rashid, meanwhile, has reiterated unavailability for England’s Test XI. The English will tour Sri Lanka for a Test series soon, but Rashid is still prioritising white-ball over red-ball cricket.

“That’s a long way off. At this moment in time, I’m concentrating on playing for England in T20 cricket coming up in a couple of days,” said Rashid.

“I don’t think I would [make myself available] at this moment in time. For me to get into Test cricket, I’ve got to earn that right and deserve my place. For me to get Test cricket, I’ve got to go back into county cricket, perform, do well, and then get selected.

“It’s a bit unfair for me to just say ‘yeah, I’m available’. At this moment in time, I’m really concentrating on white-ball cricket. Maybe in the future I’ll return to Test cricket.”

Rashid’s recovery from a shoulder injury is ongoing, which should keep him among the popular markets with Betway and others.

“Once you have that shoulder injury, that niggle, then you feel it, especially as a leg-spinner – you might struggle to get that extra zip, extra pace. It’s been frustrating, but you’ve got to make do with it, you’ve got to find a way,” he added.