Bengaluru, 23 September, 2019: The margin of victory was big but South African captain Quinton de Kock was equally impressed with the manner in which his team fought back to win the third T20 International against India and level the series.
India were cruising at 54 for one in six overs before the Proteas staged a remarkable comeback.
“They got off to a great start but I am very impressed with the way the guys fought back, they read the conditions very well, they stuck to their plans, they just kept up the pressure on India,” de Kock said at the post-match media conference.
The skipper top-scored with a blazing 52-ball 79 to engineer his team;s nine-wicket victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. But it was not that easy for the visiting batsmen initially.
“They put a lot of pressure on us in the first four overs, kept it very tight, didn’t give us a lot of bad balls, ball was swinging.
“We just stuck to our guns upfront, just tried to soak up the pressure.”
Playing in his first game of the series, left-arm fast medium bowler Beuran Hendricks returned impressive figures of 2/14 in his four-over spell.
“Beuran, in our T20 local league back home, he bowled really well in that tournament. Coming into this game, he has worked really hard on his skills. He deserved the chance and he took it with both hands,” de Kock said.
He was also pleased with the performance of left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin, who picked up 2/19 in three overs, saying he mixed up his deliveries cleverly.
Vice-captain Rassie van der Dussen, seated next to de Kock, said they have been able to send out a message to the hosts before the Test series.
“They did not have enough runs to put us under pressure and Quinton is a world class player, he has played here so many times, he never even gave them a sniff.
“We came here today with a goal to win and to send a strong message. The captain led from the front,” van der Dussen said.
Van der Dussen also praised the likes of Temba Bavuma and Fortuin.
“Temba has come in and has obviously done really well in these two games. He has played a lot of cricket for South Africa so the stage was never too big for him.
“In the last year or two, he has really improved his white ball cricket, in T20s as well as one-day cricket.”
Regarding Fortuin, he said, “Bjorn is a bowler for the big occasions, we have seen so many times back home but may be not enough international crowd have seen that.
Asked if Rishab Pant’s was a well-thought-out dismissal by Fortuin, van der Dussen responded in the positive.
“It was a clear plan against Pant, we know when he tries to look for boundaries he goes for long-on, looks for slog sweep. So when he tries to attack, the spinners always look to take him on. Bjorn executed that perfectly.