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Verreynne will be pushing for a Test berth

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“My goal is to break into the Test side.”

CAPE TOWN – Quinton de Kock may not want to give up the wicket-keeping gloves despite his ever-increasing workload, but he may soon have to in at least one format with Kyle Verreynne stating his desire to push for a Test place next season.

“I definitely want to play Test cricket. A lot of my focus during this pre-season and the winter tours will be on working on my red-ball cricket and pushing towards getting into the Test side. Red-ball cricket is really enjoyable and one of my ultimate goals is to play Test cricket. My goal is to break into the Test side,” the Cape Cobras glove-man said.

Verreynne is already playing alongside De Kock in the Proteas ODI side where the 22-year-old excelled with the bat during the 3-0 series victory over Australia. However, De Kock remained behind the stumps in the limited-overs matches with Verreynne sent out into the field. Ironically, the ginger-haired youngster actually took a couple of splendid catches in the outfield, particularly on his ODI debut in Paarl.

Test cricket, though, is an altogether different proposition, especially with De Kock being one of the candidates to replace Faf du Plessis as the Proteas’ five-day captain too.

There is a growing concern that the triple crown that De Kock wears in limited-overs cricket – captain, wicket-keeper and opening batsman – will eventually wear him down. Equally, South Africa’s Test batting unit has been woefully out of form for a long period of time with De Kock comfortably the premier batsman in the line-up.

The debate has been on-going where De Kock’s talents can be best utilised with the 27-year-old being shifted all around from No 7 to opening the batting on occasion. De Kock currently averages 39.12 after 47 Tests, but many believe that will grow by at least 10 runs should he be stationed permanently in the prestigious No 4 spot.

It would though be a mountainous task – even for someone as willing as De Kock – to bat in the top order, keep wicket and possibly captain in Test cricket. And that brings Verreynne firmly into the equation.

Having already shown that he is adept at handling the pressures of international cricket, he also boasts a brilliant first-class record. Verreynne averages 50.72 after 40 matches, which includes three centuries and 17 fifties. His gross appetite for runs is further displayed by the fact that two of those centuries came in a Four-Day Domestic game against a strong Titans team last season. Verreynne could therefore be the ideal candidate for the No 7 slot moving forward.

He is certainly pushing hard for it to become a reality when international cricket does eventually get underway again after the COVID-19 pandemic has disappeared, and he is using every available asset to uplift his skill levels.