Quinton de Kock made an abrupt decision of retiring from Test cricket just a few hours after South Africa succumbed and lost the first Test by 113 runs.
De Kock didn't have the best Test match against India as he was dismissed for 34 in the first innings by Shardul Thakur and then on 21 in the second innings by Mohammed Siraj.
Quinton De Kock stats
In the current scenario, De Kock is the second-highest scorer, the highest being the skipper Dean Elgar. However, Elgar has also played 31 more innings which means De Kock could've surpassed him had he continued.
Unfortunately, such brilliant numbers won't see a bigger conversion as one of the most important players from the current South Africa squad announced his retirement. However, De Kock has made it clear that by not being a Test player anymore, the former Proteas skipper would be more determined to perform better in white-ball cricket.
Some say that decision came primarily because of some ongoing rifts with the South Africa Cricket board. But De Kock wasted no time and clarified his decision was not due to a professional concern but a personal one.
"This is not a decision that I have come to very easily," the release quoted De Kock as saying. "I have taken a lot of time to think about what my future looks like and what needs to take priority in my life now that Sasha and I are about to welcome our first child into this world and look to grow our family beyond that. My family is everything to me and I want to have the time and space to be able to be with them during this new and exciting chapter of our lives."
"I love Test cricket and I love representing my country and all that it comes with. I've enjoyed the ups and the downs, the celebrations and even the disappointments, but now I've found something that I love even more."
"In life, you can buy almost everything except for time, and right now, it's time to do right by the people that mean the most to me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of my Test cricket journey from the very beginning. To my coaches, teammates, the various management teams and my family and friends - I couldn't have shown up as I did without your support."
"This is not the end of my career, as Protea, I'm fully committed to white-ball cricket and representing my country to the best of my ability for the foreseeable future." Out of the many possible reasons, this reason seems to be the one that will be followed but were there any issues that could've led to this decision?
Could he have chosen some other option? Maybe taking some time off like Jos Buttler did, or how Ben Stokes prioritized his mental health over cricket? He would've at least continued until 34 or 35 considering his fitness so why retire from a format completely for something that will still be a priority but managing wouldn't be an issue.
The question of the incessant restrictions to follow the bio-bubble regulations could also be one but the current situation demands such restrictions in every format, isn't it?
There could be many questions and many possible answers but we'll probably never know! If you ask us then it was more than a personal concern. Various players have been falling out with the CSA and we never know what's the reality behind it.
Faf Du Plessis, despite being such sparling form was dropped from the T20 World Cup even the Proteas squad could've been a brute force with Faf at the top. De Kock is just 29 and it is safe to say that he had a lot of Test cricket left in him. His mentality has been his strength for quite a while, De Kock had a rough patch but we've witnessed him returning stronger multiple times in the past.
From South Africa's point of view, losing an experienced opener is a big blow and they have a lot to do. Starting with this series, they have an Indian squad very desperate to beat them on their soil and they have just two more Tests in hand.
India have already shown that this time they have all the resources to perform whereas South Africa have been in such a position after a decade of domination at home and we won't be surprised if we see India whitewashing the Proteas at home.
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Cover Credits: CricketSA