First Test between SA and England evenly balanced‚ says Quinton de Kock
The Proteas will resume on Friday morning with all-rounder Vernon Philander on 28 and Anrich Nortje still to register his name on the scoreboard and looking to push the score closer to the 300 mark.
Day one belonged to De Kock who dug the Proteas out of a dark hole with a hard fought knock of 95 off 128 and England fast bowler Sam Curran who returned with impressive figures of 4/57.
“If we get 300 it will be a challenging score but and even now its 50/50‚” De Kock said.
He said the wicket is going to be difficult to bat on as the Test match continues.
“The wicket is going to be a little bit difficult to bat on as the game goes on. We just have to make sure that when we go out to bowl we keep the pressure on.
"You can see that in around the 70th over‚ the ball is swinging and going around. Of course they can still get 300 but we can also bowl them out. That is the reason I say it is 50/50 at the moment.”
The enviable job of stifling the England batsmen will fall on the experienced shoulders of Kagiso Rabada‚ Vernon Philander and spinner Keshav Maharaj together with inexperienced Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius.
“It is not a bad score and I believe that if we can get somewhere close to 300 it will be a challenging for them. This wicket is going to be a challenging one to bat on for the remaining four days.”
De Kock shared a partnership of 87 with Pretorius and he said the Test debutant helped him to calm down during the crucial stage of the match in the heat.
“To be honest he was the one calming me down‚ he was very calm. I was in a certain mindset and he said to me don’t worry I am here for you. In nature he is a very calm person anyway.
“We just made sure that we keep the intent‚ especially when Dwaine came in‚ because when England bowlers are on top they are a tough team to score runs against. We just tried to get our momentum even though the wicket was tough.
“I was not trying to go at whatever strike rate I was going at‚ I was just trying to get myself in good positions to get my head in the game. When I started to find rhythm‚ things started to happen but I didn’t go out to chase a strike rate.”