Quinton de Kock has been appointed South Africa’s Test captain despite director of cricket Graeme Smith ruling him out of the running in April.
The move, which is temporary until the selectors have more time to consider the right candidate, is still surprising, given Smith’s emphatic comments about De Kock as the Test captain in April.
He said: ‘The one thing I can confirm is that Quinton will be our white-ball captain and he won’t be the Test captain going forward. We want to keep Quinton fresh and playing well. I’ve always believed, having been in the job myself, that captaining all three formats is challenging. We’ve seen a number of nations trying to figure out what’s best and I think across three formats, it probably doesn’t work.’
The Proteas conclude their summer Test schedule in March 2021, after which they don’t play white-ball cricket again until December’s series against India.
Convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said: ‘We are satisfied, as the National Selection Panel, with the decision that we have made to ensure continuity within the team, while we work towards making the best decision for its future without the pressure of time constraints. Quinton [de Kock] is happy to continue in the role for the next season and is comfortable with the balance of the workload and we back him fully as a captain.
‘We are also pleased with the leadership group in the team and are cultivating a strong individual leadership culture at the same time, so that the team produces a sustainable stream of potential captains for the future.’
Meanwhile, the Proteas squad for the series against Sri Lanka, starting on 26 December, has been announced. There are first-time call-ups for opening batsman Sarel Erwee, wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne and seamer Glenton Stuurman. Kagiso Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius miss out through injury.
Squad for Sri Lanka Tests: Quinton de Kock (c, wk), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Sarel Erwee, Anrich Nortje, Glenton Stuurman, Wiaan Mulder, Keegan Petersen, Kyle Verreynne.