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‘We might have to take a risk‚’ says Smith‚ revealing De Kock is not Test captain

Graeme Smith during the CSA media briefing at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Graeme Smith during the CSA media briefing at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa (CSA) director of cricket Graeme Smith has confirmed that Quinton de Kock will not be appointed as Proteas Test captain and that the association has not yet decided who will take over as red ball leader from Faf du Plessis.

De Kock is currently the Proteas’ ODI and T20 captain after he took over the reigns from Du Plessis and showed good leadership qualities during the series against England and Australia.

“The one definitive answer I can give as to who is going to be Test captain is that it is not going to be Quinton‚” said Smith on Friday morning when he was confirmed by CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul as the permanent director of cricket.

“I can’t tell you who is going to be but we are in a debate over it. There is no one person who we can pinpoint right now and say‚ ‘That is the guy’.

“There are still a lot of players who are vying for selection and I think the challenge that we sit with at the moment is that there are a lot of players who are on a similar level.”

Smith‚ who was appointed Proteas captain at the age of 22 in 2003 to replace Shaun Pollock‚ added that CSA may have to take a risk on someone within the squad.

“The challenge is to see who escalates himself into consistent performances. We really have to understand the personalities and maybe take a risk on someone and back them.

“Coming from a personal point of view‚ a risk was taken on me and you know it is something that we will consider. There are a lot of considerations but one thing I can confirm is that Quinton will be our white ball captain and he won’t be the Test captain going forward.”

Smith said the decision not to give the Test captaincy to De Kock is aimed at prolonging his career as wicketkeeper.

“It is really about the fact that he wants to continue as wicketkeeper and we want to keep him fresh and playing well. I have always believed‚ having been in the job myself‚ that captaining in all the four formats is challenging.

“We felt that from a workload and mental capacity point of view it will be tough for him. To burden him with all the three formats won’t be beneficial for us.”