Quinton de Kock has established himself as one of the most talented young wicket keepers of this decade, owing to his flamboyant batting and effective stumping.
His impressive early-career feats have already prompted cricket analysts to label him as one of the game’s potential greats.
De Kock, like his compatriots Graeme Smith and Neil Mckenzie, attended King Edward VII High School. He made a name for himself at the ICC U-19 World Cup in Australia, where he was the team’s top run scorer with 284 runs in six games.
Kock’s match-winning innings for the Highveld Lions in the Champions League T20 in 2012 helped him gain a national call-up.
In the absence of usual keeper AB de Villiers, the Southpaw made his debut for the national T20 team against visiting New Zealand in 2012. De Kock made a good first impression by scoring 28 runs off 23 balls while chasing.
Things didn’t go well in his first ODI series against the Kiwis in January 2013, and he was finally dropped from the squad after a poor performance against Sri Lanka in July 2013.
Rise to glory
He made his mark on the big stage after returning to the ODI team in November 2013, scoring an offensive century against Pakistan.
In December 2013, he scored three consecutive hundreds against a shell-shocked Indian side, proving that his best was yet to come.
He made his Test debut against Australia in Port Elizabeth the following year, scoring seven and 34 runs in two innings. Later that year, while on tour in Sri Lanka, he became a regular member of the test team.
Despite his supremacy in the limited overs game, Quinton was unable to secure a permanent place in the test eleven, as demonstrated by Dane Vilas’ selection over him in the 2015 series against India.
However, the year 2016 saw the arrival of a transformed De Kock, who appeared determined to correct his Test record.
With an energetic hundred in Hobart, he became the first South African batsman to score five consecutive fifty-plus scores in tests, ultimately leading his team to a series-clinching victory over Australia. This sparked comparisons to the iconic Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist, who was 24 at the time.
In ODIs, his run-scoring streak continued, with a 113-ball 178 against Australia at Centurion strengthening his status as a match winner.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, an Indian Premier League franchise, signed De Kock for the 2013 season after being impressed with his free-flowing knocks in international cricket. In 2014, the Delhi Daredevils purchased him after he didn’t exactly light up the stage.
De Kock remains one of the most intriguing youths to watch in the future, with imposing records racked up by the youngster so far.