Quinton de Kock: Mumbai's impact player in Indian T20 League 2020
Quinton de Kock finished the 2019 season of the Indian T20 League with 392 runs - the most by any player in the title-winning Mumbai side. The South African wicket-keeper batsman averaged nearly 40 and struck at a rate of 140 in the 2019 edition of the tournament.
Yet, de Kock had his fair share of doubters. In a batting line-up filled with superstars, de Kock’s value remained underrated, and after a string of ordinary performances at the start of this season, marked by slow starts in particular, de Kock was criticised from all quarters.
Against Hyderabad, he turned it around miraculously with a stunning counter-attack from the top and has since not looked back.
Vs Hyderabad – 67 (39)
Vs Delhi – 53 (36)
Vs Kolkata – 78* (44)
Vs Punjab – 53 (43)
Vs Chennai – 46 (37)
Major skill on display: Attacking the pacers
Quinton de Kock has notably taken on the quicker bowlers with disdain. The South African has hit the pace bowlers for 241 runs off 151 balls this Indian T20 League season, a strike-rate of 159.6. Notably, he hasn’t slowed down in the middle overs against pace - a bizarre trend this season. Instead, de Kock has scored at an even quicker pace when countered with pace in the middle overs of the innings. Between overs 7 and 16, de Kock has scored 94 off just 49 balls against pace bowlers without being dismissed, a scoring rate of 191.8.
While he hasn’t thrived that well against spin, de Kock has still managed to score at a strike-rate of nearly 130 against the spinners this season. Notably, vs off-spinners, considered de Kock’s nemesis, he has 56 runs in 45 balls at a strike-rate of 124 with only one dismissal during the whole season.
Middle overs batting
De Kock has been Mumbai’s best batter in the middle overs with his scoring rate. That he scores at such a rate even with the likes of Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav in that middle-order suggests the kind of season de Kock has had so far. From a scoring rate of 8.17 in the Powerplay overs - the second-best after Shikhar Dhawan this season - de Kock goes to a scoring rate of 9.26, the third-best this season. That he doesn’t slow down makes him one of the most impactful players this season.
De Kock’s stunning turnaround has had an effect on the way Mumbai pace their entire innings. While the onus was on Hardik or Pollard to accelerate in the middle in previous years, this time there is a casual build-up to a great run rate.
In the Powerplay, Mumbai have scored at the quickest pace this year (9.317) with the next best some distance away at 8.48. de Kock’s quickfire starts have driven them here and he carries that into the middle overs. The pace at which he has scored has allowed the middle-order to step in and play their natural game.
Feature image courtesy: Mumbai