Always a pressure game for top-order batters: Quinton de Kock | Crickit

Always a pressure game for top-order batters: Quinton de Kock

Apr 05, 2024 08:50 PM IST

Teams are scoring faster than ever in the powerplay and making a good start to the game is vital, feels Quinton de Kock.

The 2024 Indian Premier League season has seen a flurry of high-scoring games with both the run-rate and strike-rate rising quite rapidly in the Powerplay and even at the half-way mark. Top-order batters like Quinton de Kock have been making the matches more interesting with their big hitting on almost all turfs across India.

Lucknow Super Giants' Quinton de Kock plays a shot(PTI)
Lucknow Super Giants' Quinton de Kock plays a shot(PTI)

If the run rate in the powerplay in the 2020 season was 7.71, it’s now 9.2, beating last year’s mark of 8.71. The strike rate has also gone up to 143 in contrast to 137 last season and the run rate has now reached 8.89 in contrast to 7.6 in the 2020 edition of the cash-rich league in the first 10 overs.

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“I like big hitting and it’s a mandatory thing for all the top order batters as a good start allows the side to post a big score on the board,” de Kock told HT. "It’s always a pressure game for top-order batters as they have got the responsibility to give a good start to the side.”

In fact, the change in the perspective of the top-order batters in the IPL, was first seen in the 2023 edition when the run rate in the first six overs, which remained below eight for almost three seasons, jumped over nine.

“If a side needs to score big in the match, its top order, as well as No. 3 batters, need to play big shots before the big hitters in the slog overs come into action,” said Quinton, who wants to continue his big-hitting in the matches to come.

He also believes that the strike rate in this format of the game does matter a lot, but not always. “It is important when you are batting first, but not always as all the wickets are not flat where you can keep moving things according to your choice,” he said, adding, “It keeps changing when you are fielding.”

All about the IPL

De Kock, who quit the 50-over format of the game just after the World Cup after a career in which he scored over 6,000 plus runs at a strike rate of almost 100, isn’t bothered much about the upcoming T20 World Cup in June and wants to see his side Lucknow Super Giants winning the Indian Premier League title this time.

After scoring just four runs in LSG’s opening match of the IPL season against Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur, de Kock, 31, remained almost unstoppable for the rivals in the next two games against Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The left-hand batter struck back-to-back half-centuries and he wants to let his willow do the talking all through the cash-rich event.

“Every tournament before an ICC event is very important, but I am not focusing much on the T20 World Cup. I am more focused on LSG’s title win in the new season. We have been a very balanced side, full of talent and I believe that after finishing in the back-to-back playoffs in the IPL, we can win the title this time,” said de Kock.

“There are almost two months to go for the World Cup, and I am more concerned about my batting. The World Cup comes only to my mind when I get selected and by that time I want to enjoy my cricket, especially big hitting for winning matches and title for the LSG,” he added.

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