Babar Azam will finally get the chance to lead Pakistan in Test cricket as a two-match series against South Africa begins in Karachi on Tuesday.  

Batsman Babar was appointed to the role last November, yet missed both Tests on the tour of New Zealand, as well as the Twenty20 series that followed, after suffering a fractured thumb during a practice session.  

Mohammad Rizwan took charge in the regular skipper’s absence, though he was unable to prevent Pakistan slipping to a 2-0 defeat against the Black Caps.  

The return of Babar on home soil is a boost, not least because he will bolster a batting line-up that struggled badly in New Zealand.  

Shan Masood has lost his place at the top of the order following a lack of runs, while the Pakistan selectors also left out Haris Sohail and Mohammad Abbas from an initial 20-man squad.  

Opener Imran Butt is set to make his Test debut at the National Stadium, a venue where the home team have lost only one of their last seven Tests, albeit that defeat did come against the Proteas, back in October 2007.  

Both Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah are missing due to injuries, while Abbas' absence from the bowling attack could lead to a recall for Hasan Ali.

As for South Africa, they have arrived fresh from a 2-0 series sweep over Sri Lanka. Quinton de Kock continues in charge, the wicketkeeper-batsman set to play in his 50th Test in the opener. 

The Proteas captain has Kagiso Rabada available again, bolstering a pace attack that performed so impressively against Sri Lanka without him. With Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Lutho Sipamla also vying to play, there are a wealth of options when it comes to seam bowling.

However, the balancing act for South Africa will come over whether to select two spinners. Tabraiz Shamsi is the likely option to come into the XI, joining forces with fellow slow bowler Keshav Maharaj. 
 

NO PLACE LIKE HOME 

His absence keenly felt in New Zealand, Babar will be determined to make up for lost time when he goes up against South Africa in his homeland. 

The stylish right-hander has scored 50 or more in each of his four Test innings in Pakistan, including three centuries. His batting average in the country (202.5) is the best by any player in Test history there. 
 

MILESTONES IN SIGHT FOR DE KOCK 

There is the potential for not one but two major milestones for De Kock, who had a relatively quiet series with the bat against Sri Lanka. 

The destructive left-hander is just 38 away from becoming the 16th player to score 3,000 Test runs for South Africa. He equalled his highest Test score (129) in his most recent innings against Pakistan two years ago, too. 


KEY MATCH FACTS

- South Africa have lost only one of their 10 multi-game Test series against Pakistan (W6, D3), that loss coming when they toured Pakistan in 2003 (1-0).

- Lutho Sipamla finished with a bowling strike-rate of 23.9 in the Proteas' most recent Test series (10 wickets against Sri Lanka), the best by any player. 

- Pakistan have lost only one of their last eight Test series on home soil (W5, D2), though that solitary setback came against South Africa (1-0 in October 2007).

- Mohammad Rizwan has scored 50+ in five of his previous six Test innings, having done so only once in his first 11 at the crease in the format.

- Faf du Plessis has faced Shaheen Afridi in three Test innings heading into this series, being dismissed by the Pakistan paceman on each occasion while scoring just 27 runs in response.

Quinton de Kock says he has too much on his plate to be South Africa Test captain on a long-term basis.

The Proteas' white-ball skipper this month agreed to lead his country in the longest format for the 2020-21 season.

De Kock will take on the duties for the encounters with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia, replacing Faf du Plessis after the batsman stepped down in February.

Wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock ruled out staying on as captain, but is happy to fill in until a full-time successor to Du Plessis is appointed.

"When they [the South Africa selectors] told me the situation that we were in, I understood where they were coming from," De Kock said ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka, which starts on Boxing Day.

"Obviously, I didn't accept it immediately. I did think about it and I understood, it's just for now. For this season. It's not a long-term thing.

"It's just [until] when we get someone who really puts up their hand, they will take over. The guys are looking for a long-term leadership role. I won't be doing that.

"There does seem a lot on my plate but I am quite happy to do it for now."

De Kock revealed he will retain the gloves in Test cricket, so it appears Kyle Verreynne will have to be patient before he is handed a debut.

"I wasn't going to keep in the ODIs against England. We were going to give someone else a chance and now that I am looking after the Test team, we are looking at ways to get a lot of things off my shoulders," De Kock said.

"But in Test cricket, I need to be there as keeper."

Jonny Bairstow hit his highest Twenty20 International score as England defeated South Africa by five wickets in the first game of their three-match series.

Faf du Plessis got 58 as South Africa posted a competitive total of 179-6 after England won the toss and elected to bowl at Newlands on Friday.

A successful run chase was looking unlikely for the tourists by the time they fell to 34-3 in the sixth over, but Bairstow scored 86 not out from just 48 balls in a superb innings.

After dropping down to number four in the order, Bairstow hit nine fours and four sixes, sealing victory with four deliveries to spare with a huge maximum.

Ben Stokes (37) provided good support as England took a big step towards winning a third consecutive T20I series against South Africa, who are playing their first international cricket since March.

The second match is in Paarl on Sunday before the series concludes back in Cape Town next Tuesday.

CAPTAIN AND FORMER SKIPPER SET UP PROTEAS

England made a good start with the Proteas only mustering 12 runs from the first three overs.

But a six from captain Quinton de Kock off Jofra Archer (1-28) sparked 38 runs in just two overs to kick-start the South Africa innings and he went on to build a partnership of 77 with former skipper Du Plessis.

Chris Jordan (1-40) ultimately removed De Kock for 30 and then claimed a catch at deep square leg to end the 40-ball innings of Du Plessis.

But by that point South Africa were 110-3 and a platform had been set for Rassie van der Dussen (37) to keep up the pace.

BAIRSTOW BOOSTS ENGLAND

Stokes made an astonishing Test-best 258 in Cape Town in January 2016 and Bairstow also shone in that game, scoring a maiden Test ton.

The duo impressed again by putting on a crucial 85 partnership, but Bairstow still had plenty to do when Stokes holed out to long on off the bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi (1-27).

After Eoin Morgan (12) made a slow start, England suddenly needed 55 from 25 but Bairstow hit six of his side's eight boundaries from there in an impressive finish.

LINDE AND SAM CURRAN IMPRESS

It was a good T20I debut for South Africa's George Linde, who hit a quickfire 12 from six balls with the bat before taking 2-20, including the early wicket of Jason Roy (0), plus a key catch to remove Stokes.

While Tom Curran (1-55) struggled, Sam was the pick of the England bowlers, with figures of 3-28 from his four overs and the crucial wicket of Du Plessis.

He later hit a six with the bat in the penultimate over to help settle the tourists' nerves after Morgan's dismissal.

Eoin Morgan is unsure of England's best side ahead of the Twenty20 International series against South Africa with the luxury of having such strength in depth.

The tourists and the Proteas start at three-match T20 series at Newlands on Friday, less than a year before they go in search of T20 World Cup glory in India.

England have taken a star-studded squad to South Africa, with Morgan among a strong contingent to have recently plied their trade in the Indian Premier League.

The in-form batsman, who led England to World Cup glory in the 50-over format last year, feels fortunate to have so much talent to call upon.

"The honest answer is we don't know our best 11 yet," Morgan said. "There are probably seven or eight guys who are pretty strong candidates to be in our playing 11, but the strength of the squad that we've selected, and the reserves that we have here, has made our full-strength side available for selection for the first time in a long time. That makes it very exciting.

"Winning at the moment would be great, but the process of going through what's best for our team and best for our players, to try and beat the opposition is extremely important," he added.

South Africa also have star men coming into the series, which is their first since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, on the back of outstanding performances in the IPL.

They will be without two unnamed players who are self-isolating, but in good health, after testing positive for COVID-19 and South African cricket has been in the headlines far too often due to administration issues.

Yet Proteas skipper Quinton de Kock said: "It's a fresh start. The guys are keen to play. It's been a while since we've played for the Proteas.

"The guys are keen to change what has been going on around cricket. We're the leaders and we'll try to lead from the front. The guys are keen to get going."

South Africa will be without all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius due to a hamstring injury.


DE KOCK, RABADA AND ARCHER HOPING TO REPEAT IPL EXPLOITS

Wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock will be on a high after playing a big part in another IPL triumph for the Mumbai Indians.

He was the sixth-highest run-scorer in a thrilling tournament with 503 at an average of 35.92 at the top of the order, making four half-centuries and smashing 22 sixes.

Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada was the leading wicket-taker in the competition for beaten finalists Delhi Capitals, claiming 30 scalps at 18.26 apiece.

England quick Jofra Archer also showed he is one of the best bowlers in the world, striking 20 times and showing his ability to be classed as an all-rounder with some entertaining knocks.

South Africa fast bowler Anrich Nortje also impressed in the United Arab Emirates along with Faf du Plessis and England skipper Morgan.

 

STOKES PRIMED FOR ANOTHER CAPE TOWN CLASSIC?

England all-rounder Ben Stokes arrived late at the IPL, having been given time to spend time with his family in New Zealand after his father, Ged, was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Stokes made the second-highest score of the tournament with a magnificent 107 not out from only 60 balls to seal a stunning victory for the Rajasthan Royals over champions Mumbai.

He returns to England duty after leaving the squad to head to New Zealand during the Test series against Pakistan in August and will be back in action at a world-famous venue where he produced one of his finest performances.

Stokes made an astonishing Test-best 258 off 198 balls in a drawn second Test in Cape Town in January 2016, smashing the Proteas attack to all parts.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS 

- The tourists are looking to secure a third successive T20 series win over the Proteas, having beaten them earlier this year and in 2017.
- England have won five of their last seven games against South Africa in the shortest format.
- South Africa have won both of their T20 matches against England at Newlands, but have come out on top in only 33 per cent of all matches at the venue in the shortest format.
- England have the lowest catching success rate of any Test-playing nation in T20s since the start of 2019 (76 per cent). 
- Only Pakistan captain Babar Azam (53 – 25 innings) has a higher batting average as an opener in T20Is than England's Jos Buttler (51 – 11 innings) among those to record 10 or more knocks at the top of the order. Buttler has posted scores of 57, 44 and 77 not out in his last three T20 appearances, all of which came as an opener.

Mumbai Indians take on Delhi Capitals in the 2020 Indian Premier League final on Tuesday, aiming to retain the title they won for a record-extending fourth time last year.

The Rohit Sharma-led side have been in great form and enter the contest as strong favourites to overcome the Capitals, who are competing in their first final.

But if Mumbai are to become only the second side to win back-to-back crowns, after Chennai Super Kings in 2010 and 2011, they will need to end their even-number year jinx.

Their previous triumphs came in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019, losing their only odd-number year final to the Super Kings in 2010.

Delhi may lack the pedigree of their opponents but confidence will be high in the camp after overcoming Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs on Sunday.

As the top two sides in the tournament pool stage prepare to go head-to-head at the Dubai International Stadium, we look at where the game could be won and lost.

 


DHAWAN CHASING DOWN RAHUL

Capitals' Shikhar Dhawan enters the final with 603 runs from 16 matches and needs 68 to overtake Kings XI Punjab's K. L. Rahul at the top of the charts.

Dhawan is averaging 46.38 and has two hundreds to his name in this season's IPL.

Mumbai have a couple of big hitters of their own in the top five, with Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock (both 483) behind only Rahul, Dhawan and David Warner (548).

Four Mumbai batsmen have hit at least 20 sixes in this year's IPL - Kishan (29), Hardik Pandya (25), Kieron Pollard (22) and De Kock (21).

No Capitals player has reached that mark yet - Marcus Stoinis being their most frequent boundary-clearer with 16.


BUMRAH LEADING THE WAY

While Dhawan - who also leads the way in terms of centuries (2) - is in strong contention to win the Orange Cap, Jasprit Bumrah is still eyeing the Purple Cap.

That is currently in Kagiso Rabada's possession, having taken 29 wickets in 16 matches, but Bumrah is just two behind with 27.

The Capitals' biggest wicket-taker, by comparison, is Anrich Nortje, who is down in seventh with 20 from his 15 outings.

In terms of all-rounders, Stoinis has scored 352 runs and taken 12 wickets, making him one of only 12 to have completed the 350-10 double in an IPL season.

MUMBAI'S PROVEN PEDIGREE

Perhaps more than any individual stats, though, is the fact that Mumbai Indians have been there and done it.

They are the most successful IPL franchise ever, reaching five of the 12 finals and winning four of those.

However, the sides' head-to-head record ahead of this season stood at 12 wins apiece, only for Mumbai to win three in a row.

Intriguingly, one finalist has had a 3-0 record against the other in the last three IPL seasons, and it did not stop the Mumbai Indians ending their losing streak against Rising Pune Supergiant on one of those occasions in 2017.

Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult blew away Delhi Capitals' top order as Mumbai Indians cruised into another Indian Premier League final with a 57-run victory on Thursday.

Four-time champions Mumbai finished top of the table and will take some stopping in the final next Tuesday on the evidence of this crushing win in Qualifier 1.

Suryakumar Yadav (51 from 38 balls) marked his 100th IPL match with a half-century, while Ishan Kishan (55 not out from 30) also raised his bat as the holders posted 200-5.

Quinton de Kock (40 off 25) and Hardik Pandya (37no from 14) were the other Mumbai batsmen who put on a show at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, with Ravichandran Ashwin (3-29) the standout Capitals bowler.

The game was all-but over early in the run chase as Boult and Bumrah ran riot, the defending champions taking three wickets before Delhi had a run on the board.

Bumrah replaced Kagiso Rabada as the leading wicket-taker in this year's tournament with incredible figures of 4-14 and Boult would probably have claimed more than 2-9 if he bowled more than two overs.

Delhi never recovered from a lethal early burst from the pace duo, who have 49 wickets between them in the 2020 IPL, and their eventual 143-8 was much more than they looked destined for.

Marcus Stoinis (65 from 46) and Axar Patel (42 off 33) salvaged some pride, and Delhi must regroup before facing Sunrisers Hyderabad or Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday for the right to play Mumbai in the final.

 

KISHAN AND PANDYA CAP IT OFF

De Kock took 15 off the first over from Daniel Sams, but Rohit Sharma went for a golden duck when he was trapped leg before playing down the wrong line to an Ashwin delivery.

The holders were flying at 63-1 at the end of the powerplay, with Yadav in great touch, but De Kock fell 10 short of a half-century and they were 101-4 in the 13th over when Kieron Pollard became the excellent Ashwin's third victim.

Kishan and Pandya conjured up a devastating late onslaught, though, putting on 60 from only 23 balls, with Anrich Nortje suffering the most as he went for 50 off his four overs.

Pandya launched back-to-back sixes in the penultimate over from Rabada and struck five in total, while Kishan dispatched the last ball of the innings from Nortje over extra cover for six to reach his half-century and bring up the 200.

 

BOULT AND BUMRAH SPELL DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR DELHI

Delhi needed a blistering start to have a chance of chasing down a big target, but instead they became the first IPL team to be three down without scoring a run.

Boult and Bumrah were rested for the Indians' heavy loss to Sunrisers in their last game of the regular season and the refreshed pacemen were bang on the money on their return.

Left-arm quick Boult dismissed Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane in the first over before Bumrah bowled Shikhar Dhawan with an unplayable searing yorker.

Shreyas Iyer also fell to the brilliant Bumrah prior to Rishabh Pant being sent on his way by Krunal Pandya to leave Delhi reeling on 41-5, with Stoinis' entertaining knock always going to be in vain.

Quinton de Kock blasted another half-century as Mumbai Indians cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders to go top of the Indian Premier League. 

De Kock had earlier been left red-faced when he dropped Pat Cummins on 36 and the Australia paceman went on to make his maiden IPL half-century on Friday. 

An unbroken stand of 87 between Cummins (53 not out) and new captain Eoin Morgan (39no) got KKR up to 148-5 in Abu Dhabi. 

Rahul Chahar was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers with 2-18 and it was South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock who played the biggest hand with the bat. 

The left-hander smashed an unbeaten 78 off 44 balls to get the defending champions home with 19 balls to spare, sealing a sixth win in eight games. 

De Kock has now made three half-centuries in his last four innings, although he did have a bit of fortune when Varun Chakravarthy missed a tough chance to send him on his way for 20. 

Rohit Sharma made a slow 35 by his usual standards in an opening partnership of 94, while Hardik Pandya weighed in with a brisk 21 not out. 

Victory for Mumbai moves them to the summit, level on points with Delhi Capitals, while the Knight Riders are fourth. 

 

CHAHAR DOUBLE STRIKE JOLTS KKR AT START OF MORGAN REIGN

Kolkata announced on the day of the game that Dinesh Karthik had handed over the captaincy to England's white-ball skipper Morgan. 

Morgan opted to bat after winning the toss and might have been wondering if that was the right call when his side were 61-5 after Jasprit Bumrah removed Andre Russell. 

The excellent Chahar had Shubman Gill caught at long-on and Karthik played the next ball on, so it was left for Morgan and Cummins to come to the rescue. 

Cummins and Morgan both struck two sixes as they produced a much-needed late flurry of runs, Nathan Coulter-Nile (1-51) proving to be particularly expensive.

DE KOCK STARS IN RUN CHASE 

The destructive De Kock produced another devastating exhibition of clean striking, moving into the top 10 in the list of the highest run-scorers in the 2020 edition of the IPL. 

He was the chief aggressor in the opening partnership with Rohit, who faced 36 deliveries. 

De Kock struck two of his three maximums in a costly seventh over from Prasidh Krishna, also hitting nine fours in another high-quality knock. 

The 27-year-old has 269 runs in the tournament at an average of 38.42 and, on this evidence, there may be plenty more to come. 

Suryakumar Yadav and Quinton de Kock blasted half-centuries as Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals by five wickets to replace them at the top of the Indian Premier League.

Shikhar Dhawan carried his bat for 69, but was starved of the strike as disciplined bowling from the defending champions restricted the Capitals to 162-4 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Krunal Pandya took 2-26, while Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar also kept it tight in a frustrating innings for Delhi at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

The Indians reached their target with two balls to spare to join their opponents on 10 points at the summit, Suryakumar and De Kock setting them well on their way to consigning the Capitals to just a second defeat.

Suryakumar (53 off 32 balls) made a second consecutive half-century and De Kock (53 from 36) got his second of the tournament before Ishan Kishan chipped in with a brisk 28.

Kagiso Rabada, the leading wicket-taker in the 2020 edition of the IPL, claimed 2-28 but Rohit Sharma's side were not to be denied a fourth win in a row.

Mumbai were made to pay for a lack of runs after Shreyas Iyer – who made 42 – won the toss and elected to bat, Krunal capping an impressive all-round display by hitting two boundaries in the final over from Marcus Stoinis.

Anrich Nortje had taken it down to the wire by conceding just three off the penultimate over, but Stoinis was unable to follow suit.

 

DHAWAN LANDMARKS IN VAIN

Indian opener Dhawan clattered Krunal over midwicket for his 100th IPL six as he batted through the innings.

The dangerous left-hander also reached the 1,000-run mark for the Delhi franchise, but faced just 52 balls as the Daredevils failed to fire.

Delhi were missing the injured Rishabh Pant and omitted Shimron Hetmyer, with Alex Carey taking the gloves and making an unbeaten 14 after coming in at number six.

Krunal and Bumrah bowled eight and seven dot balls respectively, also conceding just one boundary apiece in an impressive performance in the field for Mumbai.

 

DE KOCK AND SURYAKUMAR SLAY CAPITALS

Axar Patel gave Delhi a major lift by removing Rohit with the final ball of the fifth over with 31 runs on the board.

De Kock struck three sixes and found the rope four times before Ravichandran Ashwin sent him on his way, Prithvi Shaw taking the catch at deep square leg to leave the Indians 77-2 at the halfway mark.

Suryakuma followed up his blistering 79 in the win over Rajasthan Royals with another key knock, though, hitting six fours and a solitary six before Kieron Pollard and Krunal finished it off.

The excellent Rabada took his wicket tally to 17, six more than Bumrah and Trent Boult, in the battle for the purple cap but he would no doubt have swapped those dismissals for a win.

Defending champions Mumbai Indians were clinical with both bat and ball as Sunrisers Hyderabad fell well short in a 34-run defeat in Sunday's Indian Premier League match. 

Quinton de Kock smashed 67 off 39 balls and a 78-run stand with Ishan Kishan (31) was fundamental in building the foundations for Mumbai's score of 208-5. 

Krunal Pandya's explosion in the final over, during which he battered Siddarth Kaul for 20 from four balls, helped Mumbai get to that tally, which seemed to be above par on a slow pitch. 

David Warner made a pedestrian start, though he picked up the pace to at least gave Sunrisers a fighting chance until his knock was ended on 60, departing in the 16th over to effectively end their hopes. 

There was little help in a disappointing middle-order showing, with pace trio James Pattinson (2-29), Trent Boult (2-28) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-41) doing the damage for Mumbai, who restricted Sunrisers to 174-7. 

Victory means Mumbai now have three wins and two defeats from five games to move top of the table, while a third loss for Sunrisers leaves them sixth.

 

QUINTON DE KOCK OF THE WALK 

Rohit Sharma (6) lasted just five deliveries but De Kock and Suryakumar Yadav (27) put on 42 before the big stand with Kishan boosted Mumbai. 

De Kock, who hit four fours and as many sixes, was the protagonist of the partnership, contributing 54 of the 78 runs. 

LACK OF SUPPORT FOR WARNER 

Pandya may have rued putting down Manish Pandey with a sitter at deep point when he went on to put on a 60-run partnership with Warner. 

But when Pandey clumsily chipped Pattinson to long off, Warner – who had five fours and two sixes in his 44-ball knock – was not helped by Kane Williamson (3) or Priyam Garg (8). 

When Warner got a thick edge to a slower one from Pattinson that was taken with a superb diving catch by Kishan at short third man, the game was up. 

Quinton De Kock grew up as a baseball player and even considered a move to the United States, but his father convinced him to pursue cricket instead.

De Kock was contracted to the Lions in 2012-13 and caught the national selectors' eyes when he starred in a match-winning partnership with Neil McKenzie in the Champions League T20 against Mumbai Indians. He also finished fourth on the first-class rankings, despite playing only six of the 10 matches that summer.

He was selected for South Africa's T20I series against New Zealand in 2012-13 to keep wicket in place of AB de Villiers, who asked to be rested. But he did not make much of a first impression on the international stage. After a lean series in Sri Lanka in July 2013, he was dropped.

De Kock was eventually recalled and hit his stride in the shortest format, scoring his maiden half-century in the 2016 World T20. Along with two contributions in the 40s, he was South Africa's most successful batsman and was named to the ICC's team of the tournament.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Quinton de Kock - South Africa

Born: December 17, 1992, Johannesburg, Gauteng (27)

Major teams: South Africa, Cape Town Blitz, Cape Town Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Easterns, Gauteng, Gauteng Under-19s, King Edward VII High School, Lions, Mumbai Indians, North of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South Africa Under-19s, South African Composite XI, South African Invitation XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

 

T20I Career

Mat        Inns       NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF              SR          100        50             

44           44           5           1226      79*        31.43     901        136.07           0           6             

T20 Career

Mat        Inns       NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF              SR           100        50

184        178         13           5510      126*      33.39     3978         138.51          4         31

 

Career highlights

  • 1226 runs scored in T20I at an average of 31.43
  • ICC T20 World cup team of the tournament (2016)
  • Most runs by a South African at 2016 ICC T20 WC
  • Fastest South African to a T20I half-century (17 balls)
  • 5510 T20 runs at 33.39

Quinton de Kock has revealed AB de Villiers was "definitely in line" to play for South Africa in the T20 World Cup this year.

Proteas legend De Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 but has made no secret of his desire to make a comeback.

The T20 World Cup was due to start in Australia in October but on Monday was officially postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa white-ball skipper De Kock says 36-year-old batsman De Villiers was on course to feature in the tournament if it had gone ahead as scheduled.

The wicketkeeper-batsman told the Cricket Connected show on Star Sports: "He was definitely in line. If fit, I would have loved to have AB de Villiers.

"I think any team would have loved to have AB de Villiers in their team. While we were pushing for him, now we will have to see when the T20 World Cup is going to happen now."

De Villiers last played for his country in the shortest format in October 2017.

Only JP Duminy has scored more T20 runs for the Proteas than De Villiers' tally of 1,672 from 75 innings, including 10 half-centuries.

Raised as a baseball player, Quinton de Kock's fearless striking and handy glove work, early in his career, earned him comparisons to greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher.

By the age of 21, de Kock shared the record for the most successive ODI centuries - three - before it was bettered by Kumar Sangakkara. A year later, he had established himself in all three formats.

In November of 2013, de Kock scored his first ODI century against Pakistan and a month later, he reeled off three in a row against India.

By his 20th ODI match, he had already scored five centuries. He became the fourth player to score three successive one-day centuries and the second player to score four ODI centuries before his 21st birthday.

In his 74th ODI, against Sri Lanka on February 10, 2017, he became the fastest player to complete 12 ODI hundreds, bettering Hashim Amla, who had achieved the landmark in 81 innings.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Quinton de Kock

Born: December 17, 1992, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Major teams: South Africa, Cape Town Blitz, Cape Town Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Easterns, Gauteng, Gauteng Under-19s, King Edward VII High School, Lions, Mumbai Indians, North of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South Africa Under-19s, South African Composite XI, South African Invitation XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: South Africa (2013 – Present)

Mat Inns NO Runs HS  Ave       SR   100  50  Ct St

121 121  6  5135  178  44.65  94.84 15  25  164 9

 

Career Highlights

  • 164 catches and 9 stumpings in ODIs
  • Fastest South African to reach 1,000 ODI runs
  • 4th player to score 3 successive one-day centuries
  • fastest to complete 12 ODI hundreds (74 ODIs)

Australia let a promising position slip as South Africa levelled the Twenty20 series with a 12-run win in Port Elizabeth.

The tourists crushed the Proteas by 107 runs in the opening game of their limited-overs tour on Friday, bowling their opponents out for just 89.

They appeared set to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after restricting South Africa to 158-4 despite Quinton de Kock's 70.

However, they slumped from 98-1 midway through the 13th over to finish on 146-6, well shy of a target perceived to be below par at the halfway stage of the contest.

Steve Smith stole the show in South Africa's powerplay, despite the hosts powering to 59-0 thanks mainly to the efforts of skipper De Kock.

Smith produced an incredible piece of fielding in the sixth over, catching a shot over the deep midwicket boundary from De Kock and throwing it back across the rope before he hit the ground to prevent what looked a certain six.

De Kock struck five fours and four sixes but was eventually caught at long off as Australia fought back, Rassie van der Dussen's 26-ball 37 the other primary contribution as the Proteas' early impetus petered out.

David Warner (67 not out) and Australia captain Aaron Finch put on 48 for the first wicket in 4.4 overs before the impressive Lungi Ngidi (3-41) struck.

Warner and Smith appeared in cruise control, yet both could be considered guilty of not scoring quickly enough and the latter went for 29 off 26 balls when Faf du Plessis raced in from the boundary to claim an excellent catch.

Alex Carey fell to Ngidi for 14 as South Africa's death bowling came to the fore.

Ngidi claimed his third when Du Plessis produced more brilliance in the field, parrying a high shot down the ground to David Miller to remove Mitchell Marsh, though Australia still needed just 20 off the final two overs with six wickets in hand.

Yet Kagiso Rabada drew a leading edge from Matthew Wade at the start of the 19th, during which Warner spent just one delivery on strike. 

Australia required 17 off the final six balls but could manage only four, Anrich Nortje bowling Ashton Agar as South Africa completed a fine comeback to ensure the third and final match on Wednesday will be a decider.

Tom Curran held his nerve at the death as England levelled the Twenty20 series against South Africa in dramatic fashion at Kingsmead.

A high-scoring contest went down to the wire as the Proteas, chasing 205 to move into an unassailable 2-0 lead, needed three from the last ball - the same task England had failed to achieve in the opening game.

Once again, the bowling side managed to escape with the victory, Bjorn Fortuin only able to paddle a slower delivery from Curran to the hands of the back-pedalling Adil Rashid at short fine leg.

Having started the final over needing 15, Dwaine Pretorius followed up a six with a cover-driven four to reduce the equation to five off three.

A scampered two tipped the balance even further in favour of South Africa, yet Curran dismissed Pretorius lbw before deceiving new man Fortuin with a clever change of pace.

The finish was in keeping with an eventful game that ebbed and flowed throughout. England were indebted to a fast start and a devastating finish as they made 204-7, only for Quinton de Kock to produce a one-man onslaught during the powerplay.

South Africa's limited-overs captain had smashed eight sixes to make 65 from just 22 balls, the last of which saw him swing a high full toss from Mark Wood out to Ben Stokes on the deep midwicket boundary.

Temba Bavuma (31), David Miller (21) and Pretorius (25) made contributions and Rassie van der Dussen finished up unbeaten on 43, but the Proteas came up narrowly short.

England, meanwhile, live to fight another day, with the result setting up a winner-takes-all showdown at SuperSport Park on Sunday.

They had posted their sixth highest T20 total after being put into bat, despite losing the dangerous Jos Buttler for just two. Jason Roy followed up his knock of 70 on Wednesday with 40 at the top of the order, while Jonny Bairstow belted 35 from just 17 deliveries.

Yet it was Moeen Ali who played the crucial hand. Having arrived at the crease with the innings wobbling slightly at 125-5, he was the catalyst for a late blitz of boundaries that yielded 79 runs from the final five overs.

The all-rounder hit four sixes, including one extraordinary sliced drive over point from a Lungi Ngidi full toss, in an 11-ball knock of 39, while Stokes made his highest T20 score at international level as he finished on 47 not out.

Dale Steyn has been included in South Africa's Twenty20 International squad to face England and Quinton de Kock will captain the side in the three-match series.

Steyn has not played for the Proteas since last March, but the paceman is set to return against Eoin Morgan's side.

De Kock was named as permanent ODI skipper ahead of the ongoing series with England and will also lead his country in the shortest format, as Faf du Plessis has been granted an extended period of rest.

Kagiso Rabada has also been given extra time off after being rested for the ODI series, which South Africa lead 1-0 with one match to play at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Uncapped batsman Pite van Biljon and seamer Sisanda Magala were included in the squad for a T20 series that gets under way with a day-night contest at Buffalo Park, East London next Wednesday.

Magala's participation is dependent on him passing a fitness test. 

Cricket South Africa acting director of cricket Graeme Smith said: "We are pleased with the group that we have selected for this upcoming T20 series against England.

"We have once again taken the opportunity to reward some of the hard workers of our domestic franchise system while some of our key senior players continue with their much-needed rest period and we have again, put our faith in Quinton to lead this group of exciting cricketers, picking up where he left off in India where he showed exemplary leadership."

He added: "With a T20 World Cup not too far away, we have begun the process of identifying several players whom we will be looking at over a period of time and hope that by the time September comes along, we will have the best possible squad of 15 representing South Africa."

 

South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, JJ Smuts, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.

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