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South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock is pleased to find form in the longest format of the game and he also opened up on his celebration after reaching the landmark against West Indies in the ongoing first Test.

De Kock played an unbeaten knock of 141 runs in the first innings as he helped South Africa post 322, taking a lead of 225 runs.

“It’s just a friend group I have back home. A couple people know I am doing this initiative with the rhino thing and one of my friends got his fingers shot off in Afghanistan, and I said I will salute to him,” ESPNcricinfo quoted De Kock as saying.

“I am doing Rockwood and the Rhino conservation and it’s a whole group of us. The one night we had a braai and we started talking and I said his finger being shot off is quite a limelight in our group of friends so I said I will do that as an accolade for him. I couldn’t believe it happened the first time. I am sure my phone with the boys’ group is going to be buzzing,” he added.

When asked whether his break from cricket earlier was due to captaincy, de Kock said: “It didn’t have anything to do with the captaincy. It had to do with the Covid bubbles. Being under so many bubbles took its toll. It was just too much. I asked for a break; if I can just relax for the T20 series back home and they deemed it a mental health break. I wasn’t mentally tired, from cricket at least. I was just tired from bubbles. I had enough of them.”

“We were on the road right from the IPL, but being in the Pakistan bubble was particularly difficult, especially just going from cricket change room to one floor of rooms. That’s how we stayed. No balconies, no nothing, no room to move. I just asked if I could have a break. Ever since then, it’s been good,” he added.

Earlier this year, Quinton de Kock was relieved from his captaincy duties after the Test series against Pakistan. He had missed the T20I series against Pakistan after playing out the two Tests.

De Kock’s unbeaten 141-run knock and two wickets each by Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje helped South Africa reach a dominant position against West Indies on Day Two of the ongoing first Test here at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on Friday (local time).

At stumps, West Indies’ score read 82/4 and the hosts are still trailing by 143 runs. Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood are at the crease on 21 and 10 respectively. (ANI)