Boucher sees 'unique' De Kock as long-term Proteas skipper

Quinton de Kock (Gallo)
Quinton de Kock (Gallo)

Cape Town - Proteas coach Mark Boucher believes that Quinton de Kock is a long-term captaincy option as plans for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India continue. 

De Kock led South Africa to a 1-1 series draw against world champions England last week with his side losing Sunday's third ODI by two wickets at the Wanderers. 

With Faf du Plessis' ODI future uncertain, De Kock has been appointed full-time skipper in the format.

It was a decision that raised eyebrows given his perceived care-free approach to cricket both on and off the field and his already demanding workload in the ODI side, 

Before anything else, De Kock must operate as South Africa's best batsman from the top of the order while he is also the wicketkeeper. It is an awful lot of responsibility for a new captain, but the early signs have been encouraging after he was named man of the series on Sunday having carded scores of 107, 11 and 69

Not the most naturally eloquent individual and seemingly far from comfortable in front of the media, De Kock must adjust to such duties in his new role. 

From a cricketing point of view, however, there can be few arguments with the appointment. Those who have played with De Kock are the first to speak on his tactical acumen and that was seen over the two completed matches in the series with some clever bowling changes and shrewd field placings. 

"On the field, we always knew that Quinny has got a very smart cricketing brain," Boucher said from the Wanderers on Sunday. 

"There were a couple of different field placings, which I thought were very good and thinking out the box."

Boucher added that De Kock was also having a positive impact on the side away from the field, particularly with the youngsters in the squad. 

"Quinny is unique and I think the uniqueness of him can work wonders in a dressing room like this because we've got a unique set-up as well," he said.

"I'm happy with how he has done so far and he'll probably grow to be a lot better."

Boucher also doesn't see any major issues with De Kock having to juggle batting, wicketkeeping and captaincy at once. 

"A lot of people questioned (MS) Dhoni when he was captain of India and I think he had a great captaincy record," said Boucher.

"Quinny enjoys being in the game. Sometimes he sits in the changeroom during Test match cricket and he gets really irritated because he wants to be doing something all the time.

"The off the field stuff is something that might get to him a bit and we might have to help him in that regard, but on the field he leads well and off the field he's pretty chilled.

"I think it can be sustainable."

De Kock will also lead the Proteas in the upcoming three-match T20 series, which gets underway in East London on Wednesday. 

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