Quinton de Kock was full of praise for the Proteas leadership group’s guidance during his first Test as captain against Sri Lanka.
The home side ended 2020 on a high, wrapping up a convincing innings and 45-run victory in Centurion on Tuesday.
De Kock was announced as interim skipper of the Test team for the summer, while Cricket South Africa continue their search for a new permanent captain.
‘It was a little bit easier. You have more time to think than in other formats,’ De Kock said in his post-match speech.
‘It helps to have some good leaders around me too. Guys like Dean [Elgar], Rassie (van der Dussen, Temba [Bavuma] and Faf [du Plessis] were a very big help. I’ve also learned a lot from standing next to Faf for most of my career in terms of managing the guys on the field.
‘I have never captained a first-class game. I have been next to Faf most of my Test career and I have learnt a lot of stuff from him so I felt pretty much at home.’
Du Plessis was named Man of the Match for his spectacular innings of 199 that guided the Proteas to a massive first-innings total.
The 36-year-old stepped down as Proteas captain in all formats at the beginning of the year with the wicketkeeper originally confirmed as captain of the limited-overs teams.
According to De Kock, the combination of youth and the experience of a player like Du Plessis is extremely important to the Proteas’ success in the Test format.
‘It’s nice to have young guys there, but it’s very important to have some experienced guys as well, to give the team that balance between youth and experience. We always talk about youngsters coming through but you need to find that balance between experience and youth.
‘Faf showed his leadership out there. He has been in a lot of pressure situations in his life, there was no better person to handle. He came into bat in a pressure situation and showed the importance of that experience.’
The second Test match between the Proteas and Sri Lanka will get under way on Sunday at the Wanderers.