Boucher feels De Kock can do captaincy, keep wicket and open the batting for many years
JOHANNESBURG – Mark Boucher described Quinton de Kock as “unique,” and therefore capable of carrying the load as South Africa’s limited overs captain, wicketkeeper and opening batsman for a few more years yet.
There has been plenty of debate about the load De Kock will carry as South Africa’s limited overs skipper, but the Proteas head coach believes that the 27 year old needs to be kept occupied and that having so much responsibility actually works for him.
In this brief series against England it didn’t bother De Kock much, he topped the run-scoring charts for the series, scoring 187 runs with one century and a half-century on Sunday. His strike-rate of 88.62 was a little short of his overall career figure of 94.94, suggesting he was being more responsible, but even that is an indication – at this early stage – that he is capable of doing more than one job for the Proteas.
“On the field, we knew he’s got a smart cricket brain, there were a couple of different field placings, which were good, it showed he was thinking out of the box,” said Boucher, who remarked earlier this season, that a team wouldn’t want 11 Quinton de Kocks.
“Quinny’s unique, and that uniqueness can work wonders in the dressing room like this, because we’ve got a unique set up as well. I’m happy with how he’s been so far and he will probably grow to be a lot better as well.”
Boucher made a comparison with former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni – “he had a great captaincy record,” – although given De Kock has to open the innings, and is arguably the South African team’s best and most important batsman right now, it’s not a comparison that is strictly equal.
“I think it is sustainable long term,” Boucher said of De Kock continuing in all three roles. “Quinny enjoys being in the game, sometimes he sits in the dressing room in a Test match, and he gets really irritated because he wants to be doing something all the time. So he enjoys it. The off the field stuff is what gets to him a bit, so we might have to help him in that regard. But on the field he leads well, off the field he’s pretty chilled. He’s unique and that can be good for youngsters.”
Boucher admitted De Kock needed more help from his teammates on Sunday as South Africa lost a ‘Pink ODI,’ for the second year in a row. England made heavy weather of chasing a modest 258 for victory getting to the target with two wickets in hand.
“I wasn’t too unhappy about the way we started (with the bat),” said Boucher. “We just lost too many wickets just when we started getting some momentum going.”
“We were about 40 runs short. With the ball we started off really,really poorly and were playing catch up after that. We had chances, and didn’t take them and when you’re 30 to 40 runs short, you’ve got to bowl well, especially upfront and then take your opportunities and we didn’t do that – and that’s why we lost.”@shockerhess