No rushing into choosing Test skipper

Temba Bavuma. File picture
Temba Bavuma. File picture
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

There has been debate in cricket circles of late as to who will take over from Faf du Plessis as SA’s Test skipper.

Du Plessis stepped away from all captaincy after a dreadful Cricket World Cup campaign and a 3-1 series loss to England on home soil.

Both were disappointing pills to swallow for SA cricket fans and the general feeling was that a change at the reins was necessary.

Quinton de Kock has shouldered the new responsibility of the white ball captaincy in both T20s and ODIs, and it was thought it would be natural for him to assume the multi-day position as well.

But CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith has already indicated that he would be reluctant to further burden De Kock with the red ball duties.

The thing is, there is no single candidate who stands out from the pack in the Test set-up.

Opener Aiden Markram appeared an obvious choice and was groomed from the moment his team won the Under-19 World Cup in 2014.

But after a good start to his Test career, his form deserted him and his place in the side is no longer guaranteed.

Batsman Temba Bavuma has also been spoken about as having the right leaderships skills, but he too needs to be more consistent in Test.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj is no stranger to being at the helm, having captained the Dolphins successfully.

He also put his hat in the ring recently and has become an integral part of the Proteas’ Test team.

Markram’s opening partner Dean Elgar has done the job before.

He brings the bulldog tenacity approach,  but at 31 is probably not a long-term solution.

The dark horse is Rassie van der Dussen, though he has only played four Tests.

But he is also in his early 30s, and Smith and coach Mark Boucher may be looking for someone younger.

The next tour, a visit to the West Indies for two Tests and five T20s, is becoming increasingly doubtful.

There is no reason therefore for SA’s brains trust to rush into making a decision before the summer.

A calculated decision process needs to be followed.