Quinton de Kock has officially been named as the captain of the Proteas one day international team that will take on England from the 2nd of March. The stylish left-hander has been magnificent with bat in hand and behind the stumps since pretty the start of his career and his stats continue to prove he is probably both the best wicket-keeper batsman in the country and arguably the world. You can not question his talent and ability on the field, but captaincy is a whole other issue and o hope he is ready for probably the toughest job in cricket at the moment.
Quinny, as he is affectionately known, has been passed the torch after the worst world cup performance from SA to date. In a view towards 2023 giving de Kock time to settle in as skipper makes sense and, on the surface, him taking the role looks a shroud move from Cricket South Africa, Mark Boucher and the management team. However, things don’t always work out when one has the burden of the captaincy, many have tried and failed. Recently Quinny took the reigns in a 3 match T20i series which was drawn with India. Quinton took the captaincy in his stride and it seemed to free him up. He could now lead by example and show the team how he wants the rest of them to play.
Quinton De Kock has had a good cricket education learning from the likes of Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. He also has a very experienced backroom staff and will learn from Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Charl Langevelt. All that being said, in my opinion, Quinton isn’t the man for the job. I believe Quinny has the potential to be the number one ranked batsman in the world in all 3 formats of the game and if I was in charge, I would want him to be solely focused on that goal. To get there he will have to be selfish at times and this is the reason I think he should not be the captain.
Who should be captain then? Looking at the squad, potential captains don’t exactly jump off the page. David Miller is one name but there are question marks over his form for the national side. Another one is Temba Bavuma. The feisty Bavuma has improved his white-ball cricket immensely over the last few years and while I feel he has a huge role in the ODI team, he hasn’t yet established himself in white-ball cricket and maybe if he had already would probably be the man to take over from Faf. The name that most jumps at me is Rassie van der Dussen! The right-handed batsman has been amazing over the past 18 months for a struggling ODI team. Quinton De Kock just made his test debut as well and I believe can be the man to carry us forward. He temperament at the crease in difficult situations and general confident demeanor will rub off on this young squad and help them perform.
Here is the Squad for the ODI series against England in March: Quinton de Kock (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Jon-Jon Smuts, Andile Phehulukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamzi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Janneman Malan and Kyle Verreynne.
A very young, inexperienced squad but an exceptionally talented bunch of cricketers. I am most excited by the inclusion of Magala who has been brilliant with ball in hand in white-ball domestic cricket for probably 2 years now. Magala has exception ‘skills’ with ball in hand that make him a tricky customer to deal with. His ability to bowl at the death is what he is known for with his vast array of variations, slower balls, yorkers, bouncers and slower bouncers, you name it this man can bowl it. Another exciting addition is that of young keeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne. The talented youngster has been a revelation at franchise level for the Cape Cobras and Ashwell Prince has put a lot of responsibility on the young lads’ shoulders early in his career. Kyle seems to rise to the occasion every time and I have no doubt will this time if included in the starting XI
Looking at that squad it’s not hard to see why Quinny has gotten the nod. He is the most experienced in terms of games. He is also in-between in terms of age with regards to who was there already and who has come into the team. I hope Quinny can take the captaincy in his stride and continue his form with the bat. If Quinton is the man to take us forward, I will gladly eat humble pie and say I was wrong. Hopefully, this is the start of something special both for Quinton De Kock and the Proteas.