Johannesburg - When it comes to Quinton de Kock, Proteas captain Dean Elgar, wants his players to just get over it.
Elgar said he was “shocked,” by De Kock’s announcement last Thursday, just hours after South Africa lost the first Test to India, that he was retiring from the Test format. De Kock said he wanted to spend more time with his family, with wife Sasha expecting the couple's first child in the coming days.
“I wasn’t aware this was going to happen,” Elgar said on the eve of the second Test.
The South African captain said that following a conversation with De Kock later on Thursday evening, that he understood “the space,” De Kock was in and respected the decision he made to end his Test career after 54 matches.
“As a group we have to get over it. I've experienced quite a few big guys in South African cricket retiring of late and one thing I've realised is that the game of cricket continues. The game definitely doesn’t stop for you,” said Elgar.
“We have a responsibility to carry and conduct ourselves like international players, we still have to be extremely professional. We have a Test series to level and hopefully win in Cape Town. I don’t think there will be a hangover from Quinny's shock retirement. We realise that we have had quite a few setbacks in recent times and this is just another one, that we need to be clever around, and get over.”
Elgar made his debut in Perth in 2012, a match in which the Proteas beat Australia by 309 runs to confirm their status as Test cricket’s no.1 team at the time. He is the only member of that starting XI that is still playing internationally. By comparison, four of the Australian starters are still featuring at the highest level.
If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have had any of those guys retire. But it is part and parcel of the game,” said Elgar.
His focus is on the players who will take to the Wanderers on Monday, to try and tie the series against a rampant Indian team and the rest of the South African squad.
“It is disappointing not having Quinny around, but it is something I need to get over, because there are a lot of other talented players within our squad, within our system, that I need to give a lot of attention to now. That is perfectly fine…it’s one of those things you need to crack on with and get over as quickly as possible.”