South Africa batting great AB de Villiers believes he is seeing the best-ever version of opener Quinton de Kock in a global tournament during the ongoing 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.De Kock has smashed four centuries - the equal-second most by an individual at a Men's ODI World Cup. Overall, he has scored 545 runs in seven innings, which is the highest ever achieved by any South African batter in a single edition of the tournament.
"I think it is the best I have ever seen him play in a World Cup. He certainly seems to be at home, he has got a point to prove and he looks calm while he is doing it. South Africa needs him to give us that solid start as often as possible as it is really good for the middle over if we get that solid start," de Villiers was quoted as saying by ICC.
De Kock's four centuries in the World Cup means the left-hander now has 21 ODI centuries to his name, four less than the 25 hundreds de Villiers made during his international playing career of more than 13 years. His form has been a big factor in South Africa being placed second in the points table.
"He has always been very special to me since the very first day I watched him play. Quinnie showed that he was just a class above anyone else. I have never really seen anyone hit the ball on the up consistently like he does and he has always maintained that form. Yes, one or two failures here or there, but he has always had the ability to bounce back," added de Villiers.
De Villiers believes the Proteas are well on their way to qualifying for the semifinals for the World Cup for the fifth time in their history and also foresees them progressing even further this time around. South Africa’s next match in the ODI World Cup is against India at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
"At the moment the batting order is really good all round, and there is an all-round belief in each other and the bowlers. Everyone that was being doubted at the start of the tournament are starting to show form so, all in all, things are coming together and hopefully we will go all the way," he concluded.