Skipper De Kock to bat at number 5 for Proteas, Boucher confirms

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Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock
Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
  • Proteas head coach Mark Boucher revealed that Quinton de Kock will bat at number five ahead of the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.
  • De Kock, who is South Africa's leading Test batsman, will not only don the gloves but will also lead the Test side this season.
  • Boucher also stated that the Proteas will be managing the star batsman's workload ahead of a busy 2021 season.

Proteas coach Mark Boucher confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock will bat at number five ahead of Saturday's first Test against Sri Lanka at Centurion.

There was doubt over De Kock's batting position in the Proteas line-up after his elevation as Test skipper for the 2020/21 season.

De Kock is known for his explosive nature, which has seen him dominate the T20 and one-day landscape.

Heading into the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, there was uncertainty over where De Kock will bat. Will he move up the order or move down to number seven?

Boucher told reporters on Thursday that the Proteas will be utilising the "dangerous" De Kock in the middle-order at number five.

"We feel that Quinny is an aggressive player and a dangerous player and teams know that when he comes in, they've got to land the balls in the right areas," said Boucher.

"We bat him in a position where we feel he will be most dangerous for us. At this stage, he will be coming in at number 5."

In his 47 Tests for the Proteas, De Kock has usually slotted in at number seven - playing 27 Tests in that position.

He has only batted twice at number five in red-ball cricket with the latest appearance coming against England at the Wanderers in January this year.

"It's also nice to have a left-hander in that position (number five) as well and he's also round the corner from the second new ball, where we've seen what he can do and how quickly he can score," added Boucher.

"It's an aggressive move, but one that we've implemented last season already and I don't see any reasons to change."

Despite a lengthy lockdown period, De Kock comes off a successful Indian Premier League campaign with champions Mumbai Indians.

The Proteas will need an energised and in-form De Kock as the Proteas host Australia and travel to Pakistan next year.

Boucher admitted that the Proteas will be monitoring the 28-year-old's workload ahead of the busy 2021 season.

"With regards to him and his workload, it is something that we will be looking at going forward given that he plays all three formats for us," said Boucher.

"Where we see an opportunity to maybe change things up for him a bit and maybe not keep, we are in constant chats with him to manage his load and, where possible, rest him or give him a break from the gloves.

"Test match cricket is the truest form of the game and I still feel that Quinny has a lot to offer as a leader."

Play on Saturday at SuperSport Park starts at 10:00.

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