Happy to captain SA in Tests until right candidate is found: De Kock
South Africa captain Quinton de Kock on Monday revealed he agreed to lead the Test side as a short-term measure until the selectors find the right candidate for the top job. The wicketkeeper batsman, who leads the side in white-ball cricket, was named the skipper of the Test team earlier this month by Cricket South Africa (CSA).
The development comes eight months after CSA’s director of cricket Graeme Smith had ruled de Kock out of contention for Test captaincy.
“When they (the selectors) told me the situation that we were in, I understood where they were coming from. Obviously, I didn’t accept it immediately,” De Kock told reporters. “I did think about it and I understood, it’s just for now. For this season. It’s not a long-term thing.
“It’s just (till) when we get someone who really puts up their hand, they will take over. The guys are looking for a long-term leadership role. I won’t be doing that. There does seem a lot on my plate but I am quite happy to do it for now,” he added.
South Africa are scheduled to host Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series starting on December 26. The Proteas will then travel to Pakistan for a two-match Test series and three T20 Internationals next month followed by three red-ball fixtures against Australia. With his captaincy duties increasing, the 27-year-old said someone else would be donning the keeper’s gloves in ODIs.
“I am going to keep wickets. I wasn’t going to keep in the ODIs against England,” de Kock said. “We were going to give someone else a chance and now that I am looking after the Test team, we are looking at ways to get a lot of things off my shoulders. But in Test cricket, I need to be there as keeper,” he asserted.
De Kock is hopeful the younger players will be eager to shoulder responsibilities this coming season.
“We’ve got a young team. We need our younger guys to come through and learn fast so we can have a structured team. That’s what I would hope for this season - for the new guys to come in and start scoring runs and putting up their hands,” he said.
After the series against England was postponed mid-way due to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases, South Africa would hope there are no incidents during the two Tests against Sri Lanka. De Kock said the players are aware of the responsibilities and want to play their part in ensuring South Africa’s future tours go ahead amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have got that little bit of responsibility, but it’s nothing that we can’t handle. It’s just a small part we can help out in ensuring our future tours go ahead in Covid-19 times. We do the bit we can to make sure our bubble is safe,” he said.