• Proteas Test captaincy still in the balance

    Proteas coach Mark Boucher says despite many discussions on who the next Test captain should be, a final decision can’t be made until Cricket South Africa appoints the new convenor of selectors.

    Batsman Faf du Plessis stepped down as the captain in all three formats of the game and was replaced by wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock to lead the limited-overs formats.

    CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith, though, has since indicated that De Kock will not be handed the responsibility of captaining the Test outfit as well to ease his workload as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

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    ‘We’ve had a lot of conversations and a lot of time to think about what we want to do. Unfortunately, at this stage, we need a convenor [of selectors] to come in as well and hopefully the convenor will be elected soon. It’s a discussion that will be had and probably debated among a few people. We’ve addressed it in small talk and we’ve been given the opportunity to have a lot of time to think about the decision,’ Boucher said in a news release from CSA.

    The Proteas management staff will be looking to create a set-up where the separate captains have enough time to get the respective teams ready for upcoming tours.

    This could suggest that a player, who doesn’t play much limited-overs cricket for the Proteas, could instead be handed the responsibility of solely focusing on the Test team.

    ‘We’ll look to select someone else for the Test role. One of the things that we’ve learned from a side like England is a guy like Eoin Morgan comes in and he’s got a lot of time to plan because he’s not involved in the Test team. So, when he goes away from white-ball cricket, he’s got an opportunity to sit down and plan, so when they sit down as a white-ball team again, there’s a very clear direction of where they want to go.

    ‘Sometimes when a player and especially the captain is involved in all three formats, it can be an automatic swap from format to the other because there’s not a lot of time in between. So that’s the positive, you get a captain who can sit down and really plan what he wants and he can try drive that vision to the players and it gives you some freshness when there’s a short turnaround time between the formats.’

    If this would be the case and the selection process is conducted in that format, then Dean Elgar should emerge as the best candidate as he hasn’t been involved in white-ball cricket for the Proteas ODI team for quite some time.

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    Boucher, though, was highly impressed with De Kock’s performances as captain during last summer’s series against England and Australia on home soil.

    ‘I think Quinny’s workload is pretty high. He showed good results in the T20s and the One-Dayers that he’s taken over. The last conversation I had with Quinny around this topic was in India where he felt that the workload was going to be a little high for him. Whoever is the captain will probably use Quinny’s brain to good effect as a keeper – you see things from probably the best angle. I’m sure he’ll add a lot of value just being Quinton de Kock within the Test team,’ Boucher concluded.

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    Andre Huisamen