Mark Boucher has confirmed that Quinton de Kock won’t continue as the Test skipper following the conclusion of the Pakistan series.
De Kock was appointed at the start of the international Test season, but Cricket South Africa made it clear that he would only serve in a temporary capacity until a long-term solution was found.
His tenure was set to end after the now-postponed Australia series, but that timeline has been brought forward to the conclusion of the second Test against Pakistan.
De Kock has struggled with the weight of responsibility, reflected in a highest score of just 18 in the three Tests he has been in charge of.
Boucher conceded that his skipper has taken strain.
‘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. ‘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.’
Boucher and co have a long time to ponder over a suitable candidate, given that their next Test series is nine months away. At this point, there is no clear favourite, although most expect Dean Elgar to be a strong candidate.
Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Keshav Maharaj and Rassie van der Dussen have all been mentioned as options but, of that quartet, only Maharaj has established himself in the Test side.
Faf du Plessis stepped down from captaincy following the Test series against England that concluded in January 2019. He has spoken publicly about benefiting from the lightened load, and thus is unlikely to be open to taking the job once more.