Proteas coach Mark Boucher says captain Quinton de Kock still has at least another 100 Test matches in him.
Boucher was speaking on the eve of De Kock’s 50th Test – the first Test of the two-match series that got underway against Pakistan on Tuesday in Karachi.
Boucher, who’s 15-year Test career started against Pakistan in Sheikhupura in 1997 and spanned 147 Tests, is best placed to pass judgement on De Kock’s longevity.
De Kock made his Test debut against Australia in Port Elizabeth in 2014 in a game he did not keep in, but South Africa won by 231 runs to square what became Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith’s last Test series.
Opener Dean Elgar and former captain Faf du Plessis are the only squad members remaining from that game.
“It’s just the start of his career and I think there are another 100 games for him, personally. Hopefully we can get the best out of Quinny for this series. It’ll be a good sign for him as a captain, player and the team going forward,” Boucher said.
De Kock has shown glimpses of his brilliance at Test level but has fully bloomed as an aggressive limited overs opener.
How South Africa will be able to get the best out of him as a Test batsman remains to be seen, especially in a transitional team where De Kock’s best batting position has yet to be established.
De Kock’s best for the national team has come at number seven where he averages 49.87 as compared to 29.33 for number six, 32.20 at number five and 22.75 at number four.
Boucher said De Kock is a special cricketer and the occasion of a 50th Test is one that has to be taken in and enjoyed. De Kock will become the 18th South African Test cricket to have played 50 or more Tests since 1992.
“Quinny is a special cricketer and I think we’ve seen the best of Quinny. He is the type of guy that the opposition hopes he doesn’t rock up and get into some good form. He’s the type of guy who can take a game away.
“He’s the type of guy who enjoys the outdoors, so this time is pretty testing for him,” Boucher said. “Being a captain is something we added to him and we’re trying to help him as much as we can in that department. I’m very happy he’s taken on that role.”