In a highly-anticipated ICC World Cup, 2023 clash set to unfold at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium on Thursday, 12 October, South Africa and Australia are gearing up for a showdown that promises to rekindle their fierce rivalry. The pre-match buzz has seen South African wicketkeeper-batter Quinton De Kock weighing in on Australia’s bowling strategy, shedding light on the undervalued prowess of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell as a spinner.

Having recently faced off against each other, South Africa mounted a remarkable comeback to secure a thrilling 3-2 series victory, despite trailing 0-2 in the initial encounters. In a pre-match press conference, De Kock emphasized the significance of recognizing Maxwell’s skills as a bowler and why he does best despite many teams underestimating him, stating,

“Then Maxi, I think a lot of guys underrate him. I think he’s a really good offie, especially in the white-ball format. He keeps it very tight. I think teams underestimate him. I think that’s why he does really well because I think he knows he’s a good spinner. I think other guys don’t give him the respect he deserves. But that’s what I’ve seen and watched over the years.”

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The rivalry post Sandpaper Gate fiasco

This fixture holds a special place in the cricketing calendar, as it’s not just about the skill on display but also the history of heated battles between Australia and South Africa. The infamous Sandpaper Gate incident, etched in the minds of cricket fanatics, serves as a stark reminder of the intensity that once characterized their encounters. However, both sides have mellowed over time. Speaking about the longstanding rivalry, The 30-year-old remarked,

“I’m not too sure. I think it’s just a big rivalry. I think it’s just international cricket, it’s just the way it is. Both teams are strong teams, both got big egos, both want to win, want to beat each other. So, I think that’s what it just comes down to.”

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