De Kock hopefully ready in 21 days

2016-02-10 06:00

DISSIMILAR IN almost every way but one – and that’s a sportsman of a certain kind, and even then not quite the same. We’re talking here about Johnny Waite and young Quinton de Kock, generations apart but on the cricket field very much alike.

One tall and elegant in every way – that’s Waite - the other De Kock is just 23 and these days very much in the here and now.

Waite, tall and elegant, was a classy Springbok batsman and a wicket-keeper out of the top drawer. Young De Kock is getting there fast in both disciplines – behind the stumps and in front of them as well.

De Kock, sporting a ragged moustache these days, is rapidly developing in both cricketing arts. While the first-named was conventionally a right-handed batsman, De Kock is a “leftie”. But as first-class cricketers they are otherwise as similar as peas in a pod.

Coming back after an injury – while walking his dogs – having earlier been dropped from the elite South African squad, De Kock showed in the Proteas’ first ODI against England in Bloemfontein, with an almost faultless 138, all the ability to follow in the footsteps of the pre-eminent Waite, the Springbok ‘keeper and batsman of yesteryear.

Had it not been for the rain that pelted down bringing an end to De Kock’s undefeated innings who knows what might have happened with the youngster in such fine form, even going to the extent of “stealing” the bowling whenever he was able.

That was De Kock in great form at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein and in his partnership with Faf du Plessis was ahead of the required run-rate to reach 400 and snatch the first ODI from England’s clutches.

The Proteas youngster’s form in one-day internationals is little short of astounding – five centuries in no fewer than 14 innings of 50 or more. He is a match-winner par excellence.

But one wonders if it’s altogether wise for the youngster to keep opening the innings in Tests with Hashim Amla.

It would seem that a position somewhere near the middle of the order would be better for De Kock and his ability to go after the bowling in a manner that has a big “let’s win this” message stamped all over it!

Briefly to rugby where the Sharks, after a bright start against Toulon in France – a more or less second-string team by the way – almost threw the game away.

Indeed, the 29-21 win was far from convincing. Bad news for the KwaZulu-Natal visitors was captain Pat Lambie’s departure from the field with a shoulder injury to where the collarbone fits into the clavicle joint.

His collarbone has popped out of that joint and the recovery for this type of injury varies. Not many players require surgery.

Some are back in action in three weeks, others three months. Lambie’s injury seems to be of the “three-weeks’ variety”.

Presently the Sharks management are hopeful that at the most recovery will take no more than 21 days.

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