New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd Test, Hamilton March 24, 2017

De Kock cleared to play third Test, but out of IPL

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WATCH - De Kock's fifty steers Daredevils

While New Zealand have been ruling several injured players out of their XI, South Africa have found a way to include one of their wounded. Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock will play the Hamilton Test after passing a fitness test to determine whether the tendon damage on his right index finger was severe enough to sideline him.

De Kock, however, will need at least four weeks to recover from the injury and Cricket South Africa ruled him out of playing the 2017 IPL season for Delhi Daredevils in order to be available for the Champions Trophy and the England Tests that follow.

Although in some pain on the eve of the Hamilton Test, de Kock was able to bat and catch with strapping and a finger splint, the brainchild of physiotherapist Brandon Jackson. When asked why South Africa were risking de Kock when they have a reserve gloveman in Heinrich Klaasen, Faf du Plessis explained the occasion was too important to leave de Kock out.

"It's a big game. Quinton is someone who you don't just replace. From my side, I am trying to have Quinton in my team all the time," du Plessis said. "He has had problems with his fingers for quite a while. It's part of being a keeper. It's never nice to catch balls on the fingertips all the time and it's been painful for him for a while. Maybe the cold New Zealand conditions make it worse. It's hurting for him a bit more now but because it's a big game, resting him for someone else is not an option."

Du Plessis explained that if de Kock was carrying "three or four broken fingers then obviously he won't play," but because the issue could be kept at bay for a while, South Africa were willing to take their chances. More so, because three of the top six (Stephen Cook, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy) were out of form and de Kock, who was one half of a match-winning partnership with Temba Bavuma in Wellington, was among the runs.

The news that neither Tim Southee nor Trent Boult would be playing for New Zealand also did not influence South Africa's team composition, as they aimed to assemble the strongest side they could in search for a 2-0 series win.

"We are trying to put as much pressure as we can on New Zealand," du Plessis said.

At the start of the series, du Plessis admitted South Africa would target Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, who they regarded as New Zealand's key batsmen, because they sensed vulnerability in the rest of the line-up.

"It's a huge blow (for New Zealand). I always take reference to our own team - if we lose guys like them in our side, it will be a huge loss. Seamers that have got experience and the numbers behind them - you don't just replace that in Test cricket," du Plessis said. "But we know whoever comes in can do a job for the day and we have to respect that and play at our best. If we do that, hopefully it will be easier but it's never a guarantee."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vnr on March 27, 2017, 16:48 GMT

    The brilliant start made by Q. De Kock who has taken to Test cricket "like a duck to water" makes him a really exciting long-term prospect to become a great future player and a forcefully effective all-rounder like Adam Gilchrist or MS Dhoni (i mean wicketkeeper-batsman, who is as much an all-rounder as a bowler-batsman) - he could also be a future captain for SA in all 3 formats! If somebody is suggesting that he could have missed this test match and 'rested' to recover from injury before IPL, or otherwise implying that the board took the decision for him -- it seems to show an IPL-centric view of cricket; and then there are opinions that IPL is (or is NOT) the UEFA Champions League of world cricket. That is debatable, but at least South Africa (and probably England, NZ, Aus & other Test nations) seem to measure a player by his or her achievements for the national team, and SA is currently a serious contender to win the Champions Trophy, so I think its a good decision by De Kock & SA!

  • Jayaesh on March 25, 2017, 11:34 GMT

    @ALTAFPATEL : @INDIABARCAFAN is 100% correct when he says Football fans have always prefered or show more passion for Club Football just like Indian Cricket fan would mostly prefer Indian team despite IPL's mega popularity, i am not sure if you follow much Football otherwise you would not have questioned it. QDK did not make the choice but the CSA did, i often wonder if not forced by there home boards or for the lucrative central contracts offered by there National boards how many of these Cricketers would be willing to choose there National teams ,BTW most of the footballers play for free when they play for there National teams.

  • Altaf on March 25, 2017, 9:24 GMT

    If ABD was captain, he might have chosen to keep Dekock aside, with his rubbish theories and strategies. Faf did great job to keep him in team despite injury which is not serious.

  • Altaf on March 25, 2017, 9:22 GMT

    Every cricketers should have such attitude over club cricket like IPL. National team should be always first.

  • Altaf on March 25, 2017, 9:21 GMT

    @INDIANBARCAFAN Do u hav facts that soccer fans want club football more than national team. don't put here ur own fake theories.

  • Altaf on March 25, 2017, 9:10 GMT

    @MNGC1 did anyone ask u for unwanted advice.

  • Indian on March 25, 2017, 7:17 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER : Hey genius how i am talking nonsense when you are basically reinforcing my points that Football and Cricket seasons and there fandom are vastly different like chalk and cheese and Cricket fan don't appreciate clubs and franchises and the new age football does not like or relate with International Football . Now larger point is that sports like Football and other Pro American are not only super popular and easier to sell but they are much more representative in nature and they do a far better job of spreading out talent , giving chances to hundreds of players while National teams are just restricted to 15 odd players and the rest whether deserving or undeserving are left out in the cold acting as mere feeders to the National team . So in summary for Cricket to remain relevant in 21st Century It has to go the Football way. Dear Cricinfouser i seriously hope i have spoken some sense atleast modicum of it ...

  • Brokensaint on March 25, 2017, 1:04 GMT

    ZM29 sadly with jp duminy constant selection and other players not being given the same opportunities to play nobody can buy into the selection myth. if it was a out right merit selection he would have been dropped years ago and that is just based on his lack of performances. as much as I want to agree with your statement the reality is not the same.

  • Brokensaint on March 25, 2017, 0:59 GMT

    vnrlifestylei completely agree As a saffer NZ culturally is very closely aligned to south africa. mentality I think we and NZ share many many similarities hence we all get along very well. being humble and pushing the boundaries of excellence is what makes south africa the team it is and u think NZ teams and the public is pretty close to that as well.

  • Cricinfouser on March 24, 2017, 23:23 GMT

    @indianbarcafan mate stop talking nonsense. In football, the domestic seasons dominate most of the calender year which is why more attention is paid to it than the international stage. In cricket its the opposite, hence why taking breaks from internationals to play domestic leagues is still looked down upon. Plus there aren't any clashes between domestic and international fixtures in football so what are you even talking about.

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