Quinton de Kock’s decision to retire from ODI cricket after the World Cup came as a surprise to captain Temba Bavuma.
The 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman will play for the Melbourne Renegades in Australia’s Big Bash League in December and January.
“I wasn’t in the loop as per his thinking and decision. But you can expect anything from Quinny at times,” Bavuma told the media on Wednesday.
“It doesn’t change how we see him. It’s always been a pleasure playing with Quinny from our U15 days. He is an incredible player and has too much talent. He’ll be a big loss to South African cricket, at least in ODIs.
“Personally, he is someone I lean on from a tactical point of view out on the field. It’s something we have to overcome.
“He’s chosen the T20 route and it’s a format where he has succeeded well in. All we can do is wish him the best,” Bavuma added.
“I must say, since January, it’s been the freest I’ve ever seen him, in and around the team.
“He is a lot more bubbly, always cracking jokes and starting banter, so from his point of view, he, maybe, made the decision a long time ago. It was just a matter of finding the right time.”
Bavuma’s Proteas will play the first ODI of a five-match series against Australia in Bloemfontein on Thursday (1pm), which serves as a warm-up for the World Cup in India.