Friday, April 17, 2020

Graeme Smith says no to "Captain Quinny"

With Graeme Smith formally announced as the permanent Cricket South Africa Director of Cricket, focus has shifted to the next most important role in the national set-up. Test captain. Smith indicated earlier today that Quinton de Kock would not be the Test captain, according to SA cricket Magazine.
"It's not going to be Quinton," he said, citing De Kock's responsibility as the country's limited-overs captain as well as being wicketkeeper and a key batsman.
"Quinton will be our white-ball captain but from a workload and mental capacity aspect we want to keep him fresh. From personal experience I know that captaining all three formats is challenging and we don't want to overburden him."
In some respects this is an understandable move. As the wicket-keeper and de facto lynchpin of the batting line-up, one could argue, quite convincingly that de Kock is stretched as is, especially considering that he is the captain of the limited overs sides.

Stating this ignores however the fact that he is definitely the most secured player in the batting line-up. By a factor. The potential suitors for the role, Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram, both have tenuous grasps on their positions at best. Neither of them have the job security needed to make the tough decisions. After all, how much weight can your voice have when you yourself are one bad score away from being dropped?

Common sense should prevail, and de Kock should take the reigns as the three-format captain. He's the only plausible nominee. And if the feeling is that the captaincy and the keeping and the batting are too much for him, in Tests at least, I suggest as a revolutionary plan that we ask him to drop the gloves and give them to Kyle Vereynne. The country has a rather large list of possible wicket-keepers, what we do not have is any other suitors to take the reigns. It can only be de Kock. After all. If not him... then who?

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