De Villiers: De Kock will keep place

Current gloveman de Kock has scored just 25 runs across The Proteas??? six World Cup matches to date, handing the 22-year-old opener a paltry average of 8.83.

But De Villiers is reluctant to axe the left-hander, not only because he does not wish to move behind the stumps himself but also because he reckons de Kock could fire South Africa to a tournament victory.

???I don’t want to keep,??? said De Villiers, after scoring 99 in South Africa???s 146-run victory over UAE on Thursday. ???It really puts a lot of pressure on me as a captain.

“I’ve got more time without the gloves in hand ??? I feel I can get to my bowlers and communication is much better ??? so it will be a last resort for us to move in that direction.

???There’s no doubt in my mind that Quinton is a match winner and, as I???ve said before, he’s going to play a big part in us winning this World Cup.

“I would hate to see him go; it’s something that we will discuss moving forward but he’s still my first pick for now.???

South Africa will head into their quarter-final, most probably against Sri Lanka, with four victories and two defeats from their Pool B campaign, having bested UAE, Zimbabwe, West Indies and Ireland and been conquered by Pakistan and India.

The Proteas??? losses both came when they batted second but middle-order man David Miller, a centurion in the triumph over Zimbabwe at the start of the tournament, says that fact is not playing on the side???s mind.

???We’ve performed chasing, so I don’t think there’s any areas where we need to improve,??? added Miller, following his 49 against UAE in Wellington. “I think maybe just the execution [hasn???t been great], but nothing more than that.

???I think, here and now, the boys will be raring to go come that quarter-final and preparing really hard for it.”