De Kock made it easy for me: Janneman Malan

Paarl, Jan 22 (PTI) South Africa batter Janneman Malan was all praise for senior opener Quinton De Kock, whose attacking batting at the onset made it easier for him during the middle over during their seven-wicket chase.

"Quinton made it easy for me at the start. I just tried to give him as much strike as possible because I just wanted to let him go do his thing. He played a couple of ridiculous shots, which are good signs," said Malan, who hit 91 as South Africa chased down 288 to take a winning lead in the second ODI of the three-match series against India here on Friday.

"He is one of the best batters in the world when he gets going, so it was good to bat with him," the right-handed opener said of the flamboyant De Kock, who hammered a quickfire 78 (66 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes) to put South Africa on the road to victory.

The steady partnership became key


The ability of the Proteas batters to put in partnerships of significance, Malan, who hit 8 boundaries and 1 six in his 91, said was also a factor in their successes in this series.

"We were happy to have two hundred in the previous game, and maybe we could have had me or Quinny getting to a hundred here, but I'm very proud of the partnerships we had," said Malan, who had an 80-run stand with his skipper Temba Bavuma.

"We had a hundred partnerships and two 50 partnerships, which means the batters are coming in with good plans and good intent and building nice partnerships to make it easier for each other. So...very good signs," he added.

Not concerned about Mark Boucher 'racism' controversy


Asked if the issue of head coach Mark Boucher being accused of racism and being charged with 'gross misconduct' in the findings of the Social Justice and Nation Building report was a distraction, Malan said it was not the case, adding "I just tried to focus on the game and playing for everyone on the team and the country."

"I don't wanna sound ignorant or uninterested...It is an important series... for me, I just tried to focus on the game and playing for everyone on the team and the country," he added.

To a question as to how it felt to face the India attack which included the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin among others, Malan said, "a guy like me, have seen them bowl in IPL, international games and it is good to get game time against them.

"It is kind of a challenge for me to do so in the first and second games...It is not the best bowling conditions, it is a slowish wicket. They are a world-class team and bowlers, it is good to get a challenge against them," he added.