A counter-attacking 95 from Quinton de Kock lifted South Africa from 111-5 to 245-7 on day one of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.
While a significant portion of his success at the highest level has come in coloured clothing, Quinton de Kock is quietly building up a seriously impressive record in Test cricket. De Kock batted at No.6 in Centurion, but his career record at No.7 is as good as anybody who’s played the game. Nobody in the history of Test cricket has scored more runs at No.7 at a better average than de Kock’s 49.96 and only Adam Gilchrist (12) and Ian Botham (6) have scored more hundreds from that position.
De Kock’s batting average as a designated wicketkeeper also holds its own against the very best wicketkeeper-batsmen in the game’s history. Only six designated wicketkeepers have a higher batting average than de Kock’s 40.60 when he dons the gloves (min. 1,000 runs). Focusing on the decade that is about to conclude, only AB de Villiers (7), BJ Watling (7) and Mushfiqur Rahim (6) have scored more centuries among designated glovemen.
Quinton de Kock's session.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 26, 2019
The major blemish on de Kock’s record to date are his collective performances in Asia. Even when you include his recent hundred in India, de Kock averages just 22.20 in the subcontinent. His record in Asia is in stark contrast to his fortunes elsewhere in the world. Outside Asia, de Kock’s average of 44.60 is the fourth best of all time among designated wicketkeepers with only de Villiers, Andy Flower and Gilchrist above him.
His numbers with the bat in home Tests are also comparable with some of the very best South Africa have ever produced. In Tests on South African soil, he averages an impressive 44.54 since his debut in February 2014, a number superior to what the likes of Graeme Smith, Ashwell Prince, Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs managed at home over the course of their respective careers.
Where his record really stands out in amongst his contemporaries is the rate at which he accumulates his runs. Of batsmen with at least 2,000 Test runs this century, only Gilchrist, David Warner and Virender Sehwag scored their runs at a quicker rate. While Gilchrist’s overall record is clearly superior to de Kock’s, it’s worth remembering that de Kock is still nearly a year younger than when Gilchrist made his Test debut in 1999. Who knows what kind of record he could have when he finishes up?