South Africa have welcomed Quinton de Kock back into the national squad with high hopes and expect the wicketkeeper-batter to enter the India ODIs with a “point to prove,” according to captain Temba Bavuma. In December, de Kock had announced his retirement from Test cricket after the Boxing Day Test and has been on paternity leave over the last three weeks following the birth of his daughter.
He has made himself available for white-ball cricket. On Wednesday, he will return to his regular batting spot against India. Bavuma also confirmed in his own way that de Kock and Janneman Malan will open the batting, with him to slotted to come on the crease at the lost of first wicket. The strength of the top three has left South Africa with the problem of managing Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller, as Bavuma explained that there may only be room for two of them.
Bavuma reveals the top-order batsmen, yet to decide the middle order
“It’s good to see Quinny again. We obviously miss him in the Test team, but he has made his decision and that’s a decision we respect. Having Quinny again with the team has been good; and knowing Quinny, he will have a point to prove,” Bavuma said. “I don’t want to put words in his mouth but he will have a point to prove, and I am sure he is as excited as we are to see him in the team.”
“The Test series went quite well for the team but for me personally, my feet seemed to move well and I was hitting the ball quite well. I’d like to carry on with that feeling,” Bavuma said. “People have asked me if there’s anything I’ve changed or done differently and to be honest no, I’ve been doing things the same. Maybe it’s just a period of good form.”
“Quinton and Janneman have done fairly well so I don’t see that changing. I come back into the picture at No.3,” he said. “Then, it’s probably more the middle order, whether we want to go with an extra batter or an allrounder at 6. That’s the real conversation that needs to happen.”
“As a captain, you always like to have as many resources as you can from a bowling front. You accept that one bowler isn’t going to hit his straps on the day, so to be able to have an adequate replacement for him is a luxury,” he said. “It’s something we still need to settle on but I would like to have as many options as I can.”