While mum’s the word on the plan not to consider him for the Test captaincy, Quinton de Kock doesn’t sound too perturbed about that expected snub.
In fact, the Proteas’ skipper in the limited overs formats readily admits he’s still “trying to get a feel” for his current portfolio, which probably explains why he’s chilled about national director of cricket Graeme Smith’s thought process.
“I must be honest, I think I took it pretty slowly,” De Kock said on Tuesday, referring to his elevation into the role during the England tour.
“I’m still figuring out how to go about things. I’ve learnt quite a bit. But I feel I didn’t do too badly. It was really more about taking it step-by-step and just throwing my ideas into the mix straight away, about how I saw things going forward.”
The 27-year-old’s own inexperience in the role as well as the Proteas’ general inconsistency meant positive results weren’t immediately forthcoming, but the domestic summer did end on an encouraging note with a memorable 3-0 ODI series whitewash of the Australians.
“We’re obviously busy rebuilding as an ODI team. In the T20s we seem to be knowing a bit better about what’s going on and where we want to be. A highlight was undoubtedly our series against Australia, we had quite a young team and they had a powerhouse one. So to beat them 3-0 was quite something,” said De Kock.
The emergence of men like Janneman Malan, Heinrich Klaasen and Kyle Verreynne in that series “allowed” De Kock to tail off to an extent on his personal contributions with the bat, though that shouldn’t detract from the massive role he played during the season.
He hit a brilliant 107 on his ODI captaincy debut at Newlands against the English and also made 69 in a losing cause in the so-called Pink ODI at the Wanderers.
There were also two half-centuries against the Ashes rivals.
Yet De Kock is resting on his laurels at all – continued growth as leader needs to be complemented by runs.
“I think I played decently during the season. There was a time where I was becoming a bit grumpy about not converting all my starts into big scores, especially in Test cricket. But I don’t think it was bad. I still want to get better, the most important thing for me now is to start making big hundreds.”