HE'S THE MAN: Quinton de Kock has hit top form. Photo: BACKPAGEPIX

Quinton de Kock drives fear into the hearts of opposition bowlers, according to Proteas captain Faf du Plessis.

De Kock has been in sensational form of late, with scores of 83 (against Pakistan), 81, 94 and 121 (all Sri Lanka) in his last four innings.

And that bodes well for the Proteas as they gear up for the World Cup later this year.

So destructive is he at the top of the order that captain Du Plessis believes bowlers around the world are fearing him.

With superstar AB de Villiers having retired from international cricket, South Africa needed a new ace with the bat in hand.

STANDARDS: Faf du Plessis. Photo: BACKPAGEPIX

And De Kock is that guy if his skipper is to be believed.

Du Plessis says of the wicketkeeper/batsman: “He [De Kock] hits good balls for four.

“Most batters will allow for the bowler to make a mistake and then take them to the boundary, but what he does is - when he’s in that mode - he hits you off your good balls and then you bowl bad balls to him because some bowlers will get a bit of white knuckles against him.

“[That’s] because they fear what he does to them.”

Du Plessis, though, says it’s not just a one-man show. “For me it’s certainly not just that Quinny needs to score the bulk of the runs or that I am contributing, we’re a team that needs everyone to step up. I don’t want anyone in the team to feel that ‘Quinton is there [so it will be okay]’ if you are doing just okay, it’s not enough.

“We want those standards to be higher because that’s what’s going to be the difference [at World Cup].”

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