- Quinton de Kock labelled his first series win as Proteas Test captain as “pretty cool”, but still insists he’s only doing the gig on a temporary basis.
- The influential 28-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman doesn’t believe the search for a long-term candidate will be too complex as it’s really a case of someone “putting their hand up” and “adding leadership value”.
- He admits the series win over Sri Lanka was morale boosting, but the Proteas still didn’t play their best cricket.
Quinton de Kock expressed his satisfaction at achieving a whitewash in his first series as Test captain, but insists that the result has done nothing to change his mind that the gig is only temporary.
Shortly before the skirmish with Sri Lanka, the Proteas’ regular limited overs skipper was also handed the red-ball role for the current season as the national selection panel still assess who’d be the most viable long-term candidate.
He made it plain then too that he “understood where the selectors are coming from” before adding the disclaimer that he “won’t be doing it long-term”.
De Kock wasn’t really required to pull out too many rabbits out of the hat against underpowered opponents as a tactician and, perhaps tellingly, didn’t make much of an impact with the bat.
“I think it’s pretty cool (that my first series ended in a win), but no, nothing’s changed. I’m here (as captain) for now,” he said after South Africa galloped to a 10-wicket win in the second and final Test at the Wanderers.
“The arrangement stays as it is, unless they still haven’t found someone to take over by the end of the season.”
While De Kock would’ve experienced first-hand how experienced opener Dean Elgar, who walked away with the Man-of-the-Series award, staked his claim for the role given his enduring value to the Test team with the bat as well as his overall cricketing nous, he doesn’t expect to play too much of a part in determining the long-term candidate.
“I don’t think there’ll be any specific method to this process,” he said.
“It’s just about the guys putting their hands up and answering the right questions. I’m sure then a candidate will pop up somewhere.
“In hindsight, I’ll be happy just doing the captaincy for the rest of the summer, but if they need me to go a bit longer, then so be it. I think the plan is just for someone to step up, show their leadership capabilities and add some real value.”
To be fair, the relatively underwhelming nature of the series itself does make it difficult to truly judge any of the squad members, be it from a form or a stewardship perspective.
That also extended to De Kock’s assessment of he and his team-mates’ on-field performances.
“We obviously won the series and by a convincing margin, but I still think we didn’t quite play our best cricket,” he said.
“We put ourselves under unnecessary pressure at times and credit to Sri Lanka, they tried to put us under as much pressure as they could. It’s just good to see us win, we haven’t won a Test series in a while.”