South Africa head coach Mark Boucher opined on the recent Test retirement of 29-year-old batter-keeper Quinton de Kock and said that while the new was a shocking one for the entire Proteas team, everyone is respectful of his decision.
Earlier it was reported that De Kock will be missing the second and third Test matches of the ongoing three-match series against India for the birth of his first child with his wife Sasha. However, after South Africa lost the first Test in Centurion by 130 runs, De Kock dropped a bombshell of his retirement from Test format, while saying that he’ll remain available for South Africa in white-ball cricket and is retiring from Tests to spend more time with his young family.
“You do not expect anyone of his calibre to retire at that age. It came as a shock. But we fully respect his reasons. It’s sad, but we’ll have to keep going,” South Africa head coach Mark Boucher was quoted as saying by news24.com.
He Had A Fantastic Test Career: Mark Boucher On Quinton De Kock
29-year-old Quinton de Kock called time on his Test career after playing 54 matches in which he made 3300 runs at an average of 38.82 and 6 centuries and 22 half-centuries to his name. His highest score was 141* and he took 221 catches and 11 stumpings behind the stumps.
He started the year 2021 as South Africa captain in all three formats, as he was handed the Test captaincy on a temporary basis. But shortly, he stepped down as captain from all formats, with Dean Elgar becoming Test and Temba Bavuma being named ODIs and T20I captain.
Mark Boucher said that De Kock had a fantastic career: “We’re in the middle of a series and we cannot wonder about it for too long. We need to focus on the guys who come in his place and hopefully, they can do something similar to what Quinny offered us. He had a fantastic Test career.”
On the other hand, De Kock will be replaced in the Test side by 24-year-old Kyle Verreynne and Boucher backed Verreynne to be able to make a seamless transition into the playing XI as South Africa.
“He (Verreynne) waited his turn and honed his game. We have been working closely with him lately. It’s not that he is new to the system. He’s been around the guys for a while. So he will quietly have confidence in his game and he will be able to move in seamlessly,” Boucher said.
The second Test begins in Johannesburg on January 3rd and South Africa will want to win this match to avoid its first-ever Test series defeat at home against India.