Johannesburg: Merely looking to survive when he came in to bat, young South African batsman Quinton de Kock said the lack of zing in the Indian pace attack helped him ease to a man-of-the-match winning hundred in the opening cricket one-dayer here.
The 20-year-old, who shone in front of his home crowd including his family, scored his second ODI hundred to help South Africa pile up 358/4, which the Indians failed to chase and crashed to a 141-run defeat.
"They bowled a bit short. If they had bowled fuller lengths, maybe there was a chance of nicking it. But you cannot compare the Indian bowlers with the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel", said de Kock, taking care not to sound disrespectful.
"I have played a lot of cricket here at the Wanderers. My family was among the crowd here, watching their first international match at a stadium. So I hope they are feeling proud," he added after his 135-run knock.
Of course, he was helped by some insipid bowling by the Indians, with the medium-pacers not showcasing any control over line and length. The spinners too didn`t find their rhythm in alien conditions.
This however, doesn`t take anything away from de Kock`s hundred. He hit 135 off only 121 balls, with 18 fours and three sixes, and it was definitely a more challenging innings than his maiden hundred -- 112 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, earlier in November.
"Steyn and Morkel bowl at 145-plus consistently and on such a wicket you need to bowl with pace. That was perhaps lacking in the Indian bowlers and I could get behind their line of delivery and play," he said.
"I was looking to survive early on. Against the spinners I was looking for singles, but got a few boundaries as well. So it kicked on from there and it worked out well. When I was in the nineties, I was looking to just rotate the strike. But the free hit happened and I thought, okay, today is my turn to get there," he added, talking about his innings.
Over time, de Kock has cemented his spot in the South African side and now regularly opens the innings with Hashim Amla.