New Delhi, Oct 25: South Africa’s stand-in skipper Aiden Markram has hailed in-form wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock as a "free-spirited guy" and said the opener must be allowed to fly while describing him as a player with a "fantastic cricket brain".
De Kock, who will retire from ODIs after the conclusion of ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, is in supreme form in the tournament as he hit an inspired 174 against Bangladesh in Mumbai on Tuesday, leapfrogging Virat Kohli (354 runs) to become the leading run-scorer in the tournament after five games with 407 runs to his name.
The Proteas opener's stunning effort at the Wankhede Stadium was his third century in five tournament games, following from his 100 against Sri Lanka and 109 against Australia earlier in the month.
"We all know Quinton to be the free-spirited guy that he is, but he actually has a fantastic cricket brain on him. He assesses conditions really well and communicates that to us off the field even before we have walked out to bat. It adds a lot of value in that regard," Markram told reporters South Africa’s win over Bangladesh.
"And then you never want to clip his wings, really. You just want to let him fly. He structures it the exact way he feels (the) need, and we back that completely as a unit," he added.
South Africa's hopes will likely hinge on the remarkable batting skills demonstrated by Quinton de Kock as they are about to encounter a challenging series of matches, with upcoming games against Pakistan, New Zealand, and the host nation and tournament favourites, India. (IANS)