Cricket South Africa‘s (CSA) acting director of cricket Graeme Smith says they are yet to begin brainstorming over who takes over the national team’s Test captaincy after Faf du Plessis. Also Read - PM Modi to Stock of COVID-19 Situation, Chair High-Level Meeting With CMs of 7 Worst-hit States Today
Du Plessis stepped down from the role after presiding over three straight series defeats – two of them at home – and was also replaced as the limited-overs captain following a poor ODI World Cup performance last year. Also Read - IPL 2020, KKR vs MI: Trent Boult Reveals Jasprit Bumrah Working Hard to Find Rhythm
Instead, South Africa are more interested in appointing a new convener of selectors and U-19 coaching position. Also Read - Trump Blasts China For Unleashing COVID-19 Onto the World at UN General Assembly Debate
“We haven’t made any decisions around the Test captaincy. It hasn’t been a discussion point. We’ll be advertising the convener of selectors role and we’re busy sorting that out. Once that advert is out, we’ll take things from there,” Smith was quoted as saying by Timeslive.
He added, “We’ll also be advertising the Under-19 positions and that’s the process we’re busy with. We’re drawing up those positions but that’s not stopping any of the current incumbents from applying.”
Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock seems to lead the race after having handed the responsibility of the limited-overs teams. However, nothing is finalised yet.
“My expectations in regards to Quinton are on the tactical side. He’s had some challenges and we’ve introduced a number of players with opportunities being given, so that’s never easy,” Smith, a former captain himself, said.
“As the captain, you have to bring them together, check their strengths and weaknesses while trying to get the best out of them,” Smith said. “He maintained his own personal performance, which was important, and connected well with the players. Having been a young and inexperienced captain, it’s about opening your mind and growing through the different challenges the job brings.”
CSA though are happy with the start De Kock has had since being appointed T20I captain last year and leading the team in a drawn series in India. “I’ve been happy with how Quinton coped through the summer. There are areas where he’ll want and need to improve,” he said.
With the world under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, cricket events have been suspended for an indefinite period. Smith reckons to get teams ready for a series, a good six-weeks time is needed.
South Africa’s men team’s next international assignment is a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka while their women counterpart square off against West Indies in May.
“The first tours are Sri Lanka (men’s) and West Indies (women), so the six-week period gives us a good timeline to be able to make decisions from a financial, medical staff and a player wellness perspective, along with the requisite training,” Smith said.
“We need six weeks to get our players fully ready for a tour and we’re reviewing on a weekly basis. We’ve started communication with the players and fitness information has gone out to the winter preparation programme participants and it’ll be their responsibility to maintain levels through lockdowns,” he added.