Despite impressing as a make-shift opener scoring 82 runs to get South Africa to a solid start on the opening day of the second Test at Centurion against New Zealand, wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock is not keen on doing the job on a permanent basis making it pretty clear that he would make way once regular Test opener Dean Elgar, who was ruled out of the match with injury, was available for selection.
The hosts ended Day 1 at 283/3 with all the frontline batsmen making useful contributions but it was De Kock who impressed the most after volunteering to open the innings due to Edgar’s late omission from the playing eleven. The 23-year-old left-handed batsman said that he was proud of himself having managed to make a decent shot at what he described as one of the toughest jobs in the longest format of the game.
"I just thought let me just do it. I didn't see anybody else doing that job. I have a bit of experience at opening (the innings) in red-ball cricket. I thought that since Stiaan has had a go, let me just rather go there and do it and do what I can for the team," de Kock said.
“Opening in Test cricket is an under-rated job. It's a different level, it's not the same as opening the batting in one-day and T20 cricket. The ball moves around a lot and it tests your technique and your patience. I actually learnt a lot about myself, like where to be tight and how to play certain balls.
“I think it's the most I've ever left a ball in my career. I am proud of myself for doing that. It's quite nice knowing that I can do that," he added.
When quizzed whether he had ambitions of continuing at the opener’s spot on a permanent basis, De Kock was quick to let his feelings known that he would be happy to revert back to his original spot down the order for the Proteas once Edgar is fit.
"I think that's more for Dean and Stephen. I'll stay at six and seven, thanks," de Kock said, before adding that he expects the pitch to remain helpful to the batsmen for the remainder of the match as well.
"I think it's going to stay the same and maybe get a bit quicker. This morning it was soft and spongy, but it's a good wicket. I think we can take the match five days," he said.
Apart from De Kock, Stephen Cook and Hashim Amla also brought up half-centuries – the latter bringing up his 11th 50+ score at the venue in 15 innings – before being dismissed. De Kock is hopeful that JP Duminy, who remained unbeaten on 67 when stumps were drawn for the day go on to bring up a century having endured a difficult run of form over the past couple of years.
"JP has been working very hard lately. For him to score a hundred will be a massive boost. I hope he does," de Kock said. "It will be nice to see a team-mate who has been under pressure off the field do well."