Du Plessis hurt his shoulder while attempting a catch in the third ODI and has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour. That makes de Kock the skipper for the remaining two ODIs in Pallekele (Wednesday) and Colombo (Sunday), while Duminy will lead the side in the one-off T20 International in Colombo.
“To be honest, I am feeling quite nervous. It is an honour to be given this responsibility of captaining the Proteas,” de Kock said. “I want to carry on where Faf has left off and to continue with his legacy. As a captain, I will try to stay true to myself and stay true to what I believe it takes to be a good leader. I will strive to help others going forward, just to be there as a captain.
“The team performance at the moment speaks for itself,” de Kock said on South Africa’s authoritative 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
“Everybody is doing something right at the moment. Everyone is chipping in, the batsmen are scoring runs, the bowlers are taking wickets and the fielding has been on top. We will try to keep the standard of cricket that we have going for the next two ODIs.”
South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson foresees opportunity for de Kock in his new leadership role to portray a different side to his game and personality.
“I have always found Quinton to have a good cricket brain, he understands the game,” Gibson remarked. “With Faf injured, it seems like a good opportunity and chance for him to show that side of his game as a leader for the next two games. He is someone who understands the game, he is constantly helping the captain on the field, he shows good leadership on the field even as a normal player.”
Aiden Markram, who was named the stand-in ODI captain amidst much noise during the India series back home, didn’t find a place in the third ODI — du Plessis said at the toss that Markram was “rested” — and that paved the way for the management to experiment with de Kock, who will be in his first leadership role since captaining the U-19 side in 2012.
“Aiden captained against India and he is not currently in the team; he has had some struggles on this Sri Lanka tour so far,” Gibson said.
“We thought we would have a look at Quinton for the next two games, which will give Aiden time to settle himself. He is a fine player and we are confident he will find form and there will be other opportunities for us to continue to grow that side of his leadership.”
Duminy, who was the stand-in T20 captain against India in the three-match T20 series, returns to that role.