Pak vs SA 2nd Test – Quinton de Kock to be released from ‘burden’ of Test captaincy

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Quinton de Kock will not continue as South Africa’s Test captain after the Rawalpindi Test, with coach Mark Boucher saying that it’s important to “release him from that burden” of leading all three sides in the international arena. But it’s not a decision the team needs to make in a hurry, because the “disappointing and disruptive” development of Australia postponing their tour of South Africa means there isn’t any Test cricket on the horizon for South Africa.

“When we get back after this tour we’ve got a bit of time before our next Test series so we can sit down and make a good, solid call on who can take over from him and release him from that burden and try and get the best out of him,” Boucher said on the eve of South Africa’s second and final Test in Pakistan. “It’s been tough on Quinny. If you’re not scoring runs it gets highlighted, especially if you’re a captain.

“We’re not that harsh on Quinny in this environment. We know that he’s a quality player and there’s a good innings around the corner for him. He has been given the extra burden of being captain and that can be tough and something he’s not used to.”

“There’s probably a feeling that we were laying down the red carpet for Australia, which is frustrating at times. After all of that, it’s very disappointing and disruptive to our plans going forward”

Mark Boucher

De Kock was given the role in temporary capacity for the 2020-21 summer until a permanent candidate was found. South Africa may not know who that is just yet, but they seem to have decided that it would not be the wicketkeeper-batsman.

South Africa will not play Test cricket for up to nine months after the Pakistan series following the postponement of their three-match home series against Australia, scheduled for March. Australia withdrew from the tour yesterday, citing an “unacceptable” Covid-19 risk. Cricket Australia had offered to host the series in Perth, but Cricket South Africa refused after they took unprecedented steps to minimise risk for Australia, including government-approved VIP treatment. CSA called CA’s last-minute withdrawal “frustrating” and Boucher agreed with that sentiment.

“CSA have expressed their disappointment and it’s no different for the players. I know there was a lot of planning going into the Australian tour back home. We haven’t really been a part of that, but it seems a lot of goalposts were being moved for that particular tour, for Australia,” Boucher said. “For example, the one positive that came out of the bubble against Sri Lanka was the hotel that we stayed at (Irene County Club). We thought it was a great hotel for us as South Africans. It suits our needs and the cultural way that we are, being outdoors.