The South African team has touched down India for their upcoming three-match T20I series which begins from the first match on September 15 in Dharamsala. The next two matches will be played on September 18 and 22 in Chandigarh and Bengaluru respectively. Surprisingly, the Cricket South Africa selectors decided to give the reins of the team to Quinton de Kock and have not picked Faf du Plessis or Dale Steyn for this series.
This comes after their poor performance in the ICC World Cup 2019 where the Proteas ended in seventh place with just three wins in the tournament. Another reason for De Kock being named captain is Du Plessis’ age. At 35, Du Plessis, despite being supremely fit, is not in the plans of new team director Enock Nkwe, who says that they are looking at De Kock leading the team in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2020 in Australia.
Opportunity to build for the future
The 26-year-old Quinton de Kock has played 191 international matches for South Africa after debuting in 2012. He will be leading a new-look 14-member squad against India in the T20Is and Nkwe thinks it’s the right time to build for the future. He, however, believes the players have got “good enough experience”.
“I strongly believe that we have a good enough squad. We have a good leader here. It’s also an opportunity to start building for the future. We know where Faf stands, as a captain and as a player. He’s done great things for South African cricket. We also need to look at what the future looks like. We believe in Quinton, who’s going to be leading the team in this series,” Nkwe was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
De Kock who is captaining the side for the first time in a full-time capacity, was quoted saying, “Coming into this series, we’ve got a lot of new players. Win or lose, I just want the guys to keep competing, keep fighting. As long as they keep doing that, I’m sure we’ll be in good hands. We’ve got quite a young team, so there will be a lot of energy. Looking forward to that.”
Last time South Africa visited India, they won the T20I series 2-0 and ODI series 3-2, something that De Kock can take inspiration from. He was the third-highest run-getter for the visitors after AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis with 318 runs at 63.60 with two centuries to his name.
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