Quinton de Kock has fully replaced Faf du Plessis as South Africa’s captain in all forms of cricket after he was announced as Test captain on Friday.
This‚ at best‚ is an unexpected U-turn from the April comments by Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith‚ who cited De Kock’s on-field workload as the limited overs captain and lead batsman as a reason for not being seen a red-ball captain.
It’s clear though discussions have taken place between April and now that have smoothed the path for De Kock to take up the Test leadership role.
CSA’s national convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said the 27-year-old who has played in 47 Tests‚ is happy to take up the role and will receive the necessary support from the team’s leadership group.
“De Kock is happy to continue in the role for the next season and is comfortable with the balance of the workload and we back him fully as a captain. We are also pleased with the leadership group in the team and are cultivating a strong individual leadership culture at the same time‚ so that the team produces a sustainable stream of potential captains for the future‚” Mpitsang said.
De Kock’s first Test squad will be without his star paceman Kagiso Rabada‚ who continues his rehab from injury while Dwaine Pretorius also continues his own injury recuperation.
An update on their fitness will be provided though.
There’s also no room for Pieter Malan as the form of Aiden Markram and Sarel Erwee in the Four-Day Franchise Series has demanded selection ahead of him.
Keegan Petersen and Wiaan Mulder have also asked the questions that have demanded selectorial answers this season.
Kyle Verreynne and Glenton Stuurman have also pushed enough buttons for them to be included in the squad.
Du Plessis may have relinquished all of his leadership responsibilities‚ but remains in the squad as memories of Sri Lanka’s 2-0 win‚ the first by an Asian team in South Africa‚ remain fresh.
Mpitsang said a lot is expected from their young squad and there’s pressure to gain World Test Championship points.
“While we may be on the “young” side in terms of Test cricket experience‚ we believe that the team will more than make up for it when put to the test‚ so to speak. South Africa is fortunate to boast a lot of depth thanks to our cricket pipeline‚ and places for every spot in our national teams are highly contested. It has not been an easy task to bring it down to this final squad of 15‚” Mpitsang said.
“This series is particularly important for our ICC World Test Championship campaign and the crucial points that it comes with. We are looking forward to what promises to be a competitive series. Our last home Test encounter against Sri Lanka did not end in our favour and we are keen to see an emergence of the potential we know this team holds.”
Source: ARENA Holdings.