While he’s clearly been identified as a leader within the Proteas group, Quinton de Kock’s temporary appointment as captain probably isn’t going to become a permanent arrangement in future.
In fact, the full-time incumbent, Faf du Plessis, suggested that the gifted wicketkeeper-batsman’s current role in the ODI series against Sri Lanka is probably more about personal growth.
“We certainly felt that when Graeme Smith left the team (in 2014), there were limited opportunities for the young players to learn, you know, get one or two occasions to captain a bit,” the injured Du Plessis, who’s returned early from the island, said on Friday.
“You can use those opportunities to learn about a few young guys on the leadership capabilities that they might have. It’s something that comes a bit more naturally to someone like Aiden Markam. For guys like Quinton it’s more about developing their personality and character.”
Modern professional sport does place more of a premium on a leadership group than a captain, a trend the Proteas intend to emulate.
“For a guy like Quinton, I feel he’ll grow a lot just by getting a bit of extra responsibility. It’s not solely about succession,” said Du Plessis.
“Hopefully when I’m back then, it also helps him understand better what it means to be a senior player. As a player, it’s easy just to focus on your own game and when you’re captain, you don’t have that luxury. This will teach him a different side of his game. It’s a nice opportunity to learn a few new tricks about himself.”