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South Africa set to turn over a new leaf under Quinton de Kock

CreSouth Africa, on Tuesday, announced wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock as their new One Day International skipper, replacing long-time skipper Faf du Plessis. South Africa had recently changed their administration with Graeme Smith taking over as the Director of Cricket at Cricket South Africa. Mark Boucher was made Head coach and Jacques Kallis the batting consultant.

 

With player-board relationships at an all-time low, the change in administration was expected to bring in better harmony and it seemed headed that way when AB de Villiers was said to be in talks to be back in the T20I setup coming out of retirement.

 

But on Tuesday, his close mate, Faf du Plessis was omitted from the ODI squad despite averaging over 60 in the format in each of the last three years. The chief selector commented that du Plessis was, however, still part of plans.

 

“We need to create leaders,” Linda Zondi, CSA’s independent selector told ESPNcricinfo. “Faf is still the captain and he is not out of the picture at all. This is part of our succession plan. Quinny is one of the guys we have identified for the future.”

 

Du Plessis had commented during the recent ODI World Cup that he would take a call on his future in the format and that he needed a goal to continue playing ODIs and wasn’t interested in just racking up his match count. 

 

That could potentially mean that this is a mutual decision to prepare for the 2023 World Cup and groom de Kock as skipper. Du Plessis has already announced that he would be retiring from all formats after the T20 World Cup later this year.

 

“We all know the quality of the player that Quinton de Kock has grown to become. Over the years, we have watched him grow in confidence and become one of the top ODI wicket-keeper batsmen in the world,” CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said on Tuesday.

 

“He has a unique outlook and manner in which he goes about his business and is tactically very street smart. We are confident that the new leadership role will bring out the best in him as a cricketer.” – Graeme Smith said.

 

The squad announced for the ODI series against England is an indication that South Africa are moving towards a long-term goal. There are five uncapped players in the setup and Kagiso Rabada was rested for the series with Lungi Ngidi returning to the setup after an injury break. 

 

Lutho Sipamla, who has earlier played T20Is, white-ball specialist Sisanda Magala, all-round spinner Bjorn Fortuin, who went with the T20I team to India, dynamic opening batsmen Janneman Malan and new-found wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne are all in the ODI team.

 

Temba Bavuma, Lungi Ngidi and batting all-rounder Jon-Jon Smuts return while David Miller retains his place in the team. Dwaine Pretorius and Chris Morris were omitted from the squad. Zondi, the selector indicated that Bavuma especially could be in the running for long. He is also a potential captaincy candidate.

 

“With Temba, when we played him before in some ODIs it was because of injury or resting senior players but now we have said to him that this is a big opportunity for him. And we want to see him make use of the opportunity,” Zondi said.

 

Team for England ODIs:

 

Quinton de Kock (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Jon-Jon Smuts, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne.

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About Rohit Sankar

Rohit Sankar is a freelance cricket journalist stuck in a love-hate live-in relationship with the game. To rile him up, mention the 1999 World Cup semi-final. Rohit has been writing about cricket for well over 10 years now, and has written for a variety of news and sports outlets over this time.

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