Talks to reassess Quinton de Kock’s status as Proteas Test captain will only take place after the second Test against Pakistan, says selection convenor Victor Mpitsang.
JOHANNESBURG – Victor Mpitsang said there is room to reassess Quinton de Kock’s status as Proteas Test captain, but that talks about that topic only take place after the second Test against Pakistan that starts in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
“Our original decision still stands. Quinny will captain the team for the remainder of the season and that includes the Australia series. But we do always have discussions after every tour, and will do so again after the tour of Pakistan,” said South Africa’s selection convenor.
De Kock had a poor game as captain in the first Test in Karachi, wasting reviews, batting badly and making decisions that raised eyebrows in the field – one of which was to use Aiden Markram to bowl with the second new ball when it was just 10 overs old when Pakistan’s lead was still minimal.
“There are a lot of alarming things and we saw what happened in Karachi … but we’ll reassess. For now it stays (the same) until the end of Australia.” Asked if the captaincy of the Test team would be a topic for discussion after the Pakistan tour, Mpitsang replied: “I’m sure something like that will come up.”
De Kock retains the support of his teammates and there was no discernible change in his mood. “Quinny is quite consistent as a character,” Rassie van der Dussen said from Rawalpindi on Monday. “What you see is what you get. Quinny has a brilliant cricket brain and I think he’s lucky to have a guy like Faf (du Plessis) there next to him to bounce ideas off.”
The Proteas have a leadership group around De Kock to help him deal with field placings and tactics. Van der Dussen, Du Plessis, Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma, are the main assistants, while they’ll also draw input from Kagiso Rabada regarding bowling.
South Africa is searching for a permanent Test captain, and the team’s management and Mpitsang hope that someone will emerge through this period before next summer.
“I wouldn’t say he’s changed much as Test captain,” Van der Dussen added. “In the previous game, 80% of our bowling effort in the first innings we were actually brilliant; the plans we had were brilliant, guys executed the plans well, the field placings were really good, to the extent that Pakistan actually copied some of our field placings.
“I wouldn’t say he’s changed … I don’t think he’s going to change, that is what he brings as captain.”
Certainly De Kock could use some time in the middle with the bat, something Van der Dussen acknowledged was the case for all the Proteas batsmen. South Africa effectively lost the first Test on the first day by getting bowled out for 220.
“First innings runs in the subcontinent is vital. As a batting unit we know we weren’t good enough, not even close which was disappointing because we had really good preparation going into the match.
“There’s no getting away from it, we have to take responsibility, a few of us got in and got starts. On a good wicket batting first, you need to put pressure on the other team. We knew we needed 350 at least and then it’s a whole different game.”
“For everyone, it’s the first time in Pakistan, for a lot of us it’s the first time in the subcontinent. Sometimes it’s valuable to go out there and experience how it is, that will put you in good stead going forward,” Van der Dussen explained.
*Meanwhile the SA T20 squad, to be captained by Heinrich Klaasen will travel to Pakistan on Tuesday for its three match series against Pakistan.
The team will be coached by Enoch Nkwe, who will remain in Pakistan while head coach Mark Boucher returns to South Africa along with 17 members of the Test side to start quarantining for the Australian series that is scheduled to start in the first week of March.
The T20 series will take place between February 11 and 14 in Lahore.