South African head coach Mark Boucher admitted that Quinton de Kock‘s decision to quit the longest format came as a shocker for him. De Kock, who was anyway going to miss the 2nd and 3rd Test match against India as his wife Sasha Hurley is set to give birth to their first kid. But after the first Test in Centurion, the 29-year-old shocked the cricketing universe with his announcement.
Boucher mentioned that the news came as a shocker as no one is expected to announce retirement at such a young age. He also mentioned that there is no time for the players or team management to dwell on his decision and they must keep moving forward with the second Test in Johannesburg beginning on Monday.
“It came as a shock, but we totally respect his reasons. It’s sad, but we’ll have to keep going. We’re in the middle of a series and we cannot wonder about it for too long. We need to focus on the guys who come in his place and hopefully, they can do something similar to what Quinny offered us. He had a fantastic Test career,” Boucher said.
Can Mark Boucher and South Africa avoid series defeat?
South Africa were stunned by an uplifted Indian contingent on a ground which is known to be the Safaris’ fortress. Having lost just two games in Centurion before the Boxing Day Test against India, but an opening day hundred from KL Rahul, backed by some stellar bowling performances from the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj, India registered a 113-run win.
The real challenge for the Proteas will be to avoid a series defeat, which won’t be easy as the Indians seem to be on a roll. But some positives for Mark Boucher and his team will be the wonderful work by the pacers, especially debutant Marco Jansen, who impressed thoroughly.