- The long, agonising wait for the Faf du Plessis’ successor as Proteas Test captain will soon be over, according to selection convenor Victor Mpitsang.
- Mpitsang didn’t rule out Quinton de Kock, the ODI skipper, from the running.
- Dean Elgar put his hand up for the job, saying he was the “logical choice”.
The long, agonising wait for the Faf du Plessis’ successor as Proteas Test captain will soon be over, according to selection convenor Victor Mpitsang.
Mpitsang, who is just over a month into his new role, was at SuperSport Park this week watching CSA 4-Day cricket where Aiden Markram, who captained the Proteas in ODIs before, scored his third straight ton in as many innings when the Titans faced the Cobras.
South Africa tackle Sri Lanka in two Boxing Day and New Year’s Test matches this summer, where it’s predicted one of either Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma or Markram could skipper the side.
A month ago, Test opener Elgar, who is also in fine fettle with the willow, put his hand up for the job, saying he was the “logical choice”.
In May this year, spinner Keshav Maharaj also threw his hat into the ring for the Proteas Test captain role, showing refreshing desire to lead what is seen globally as a fragile South African cricket team.
“I’m sure the Test captaincy and the Test squad will be announced soon, and we will do both at the same time. I think that’s fair,” said Mpitsang, coyly.
“We have discussed it, so soon you will know who the Test captain is. There’s been a few guys in the media that have raised their hand up and we have discussed one or two.
“You’ll hear soon enough who that guy is.”
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Mpitsang, however, didn’t rule out the possibility of Quinton de Kock, the ODI and T20I captain, from the running.
Word from the Proteas in the past has been that De Kock would not be in contention for the Test armband because of the added workload it would present to his already stacked to do list – wicketkeeping, batting and white ball captaincy.
Though De Kock has come under intense scrutiny for being seemingly unable to marshal his troops in tense moments during the 3-0 whitewash to England during the T20I series in the Western Cape, Mpitsang defended him, saying the criticism was unfair.
“I think it’s unfair to criticise Quinny’s captaincy,” said Mpitsang.
“I think he’s done a superb job so far for South Africa. If you think about how he’s led this team from the last season and now.
“We’ve had a few challenges regarding the all-rounders being unavailable for selection. But George Linde has stepped up and filled that role quite nicely.
“There were moments in that first [T20I] game I felt that certain executions … we probably could have won that game but unfortunately things didn’t go our way.
“The guys fought hard in the second game and we did okay to push the game to the final over against a strong England side.
“I know the team would have reflected on how they batted. The final one, we got to a very competitive total on conditions both teams thought might be difficult.
“But again, England showed you just what a strong team they are.”