South Africa v West Indies, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day December 20, 2014

De Kock ruled out of the WI series


File photo: Quinton de Kock is likely to take six to 12 weeks to recuperate © AFP

Quinton de Kock has been ruled out of the rest of the series against against West Indies with an ankle ligament tear. The wicket-keeper will miss the remaining two Tests, and all of the limited-overs matches which includes three T20s and five ODIs, with an eye on making a recovery in time for the World Cup.

He requires between six and 12 weeks of rehabilitation but South Africa's first match of the tournament is in eight weeks' time, which team manager Mohammed Moosajee said will "hopefully afford a sufficient recovery period."

De Kock rolled over his ankle during the warm-ups on the morning of the third day of the Centurion Test and was unable to keep wickets for the rest of the match. AB de Villiers, who did the job before de Kock debuted in Sri Lanka, was handed the gloves and will keep them for the rest of the series. Cricket South Africa said a player "to act as cover will be announced in due course."

That would likely mean a Test debut for the only reserve batsman in the squad, Temba Bavuma. The Lions No.3 has played 68 first-class matches and an average of 35.95 and would likely bat in de Kock's position in the lower middle-order. If he plays, he will be the first black African batsman to ever represent South Africa and the first black African player to turn out for the team in almost four years, after Lonwabo Tsostobe was part of the New Year's Test in 2011.

Alternatively, South Africa could search outside the squad but that would against their policy of promoting players who have been non-playing members of the squad before casting the net wider. A batsman who may come into contention would be Farhaan Behardien, who is currently second on the this season's first-class competition run-charts. Rilee Rossouw, the Knight's batsman. is injured, while Colin Ingram, who is the third on the run-scorers' list, has accepted a Kolpak deal at Glamorgan.

More worryingly for South Africa will be whether de Kock will return to full fitness before the World Cup. Since November last year, he has been both the first-choice opener and wicketkeeper and has formed a successful partnership with Hashim Amla at the top, while also relieving AB de Villiers of the workload. Although de Villiers could find himself back behind the stumps, if de Kock is not available for the World Cup, South Africa will have to look for another opener. Morne van Wyk, who played at the 2011 World Cup and currently captains the Dolphins, would be one option but South Africa will hope de Kock is fit in time.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harjinder on December 24, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    D.Kock is a very important south africa cricket team player .He must be in squad for World cup 2015 .I pray to GOD ,BLESS him and keep fit .Because SA dnt have wicket keeper like him . South Africa is facing a big trouble with his injury ...???

  • Sathesh Krishnan on December 22, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    DeKock is a key member of SA. Hope he recovers in time for World Cup. In the worst case, he isnt I would go with Rossouw as opener bcos of his striking abilities and great technique. He can set the momentum nicely at the top.

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    I pray to GOD ....May he be fit for World Cup 2015 .....!

  • greig on December 21, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    They cant leap frog Bavuma because he is currently in the squad. And quite frankly I dont think they should either. Give the youngster a chance. I dont follow our domestic cricket closely but he seems like a good prospect. I am against going back to senior, older players as stop gaps (AKA Robbie Peterson). I would rather debut a youngster.

    Interesting, I dont see AB deviliiers being Wicket Keeper for the T20 games, they will need to find a replacement by then. I think AB will keep for most of ODIs - maybe 2-3.

  • Dummy on December 20, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    Hope he recovers .Very imp for SA WC chances

  • Steve on December 20, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Give Bavuma his debut and bring in Rossouw or Hendricks as cover.

  • Gurunath on December 20, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    This will hurt Protea's world cup preparations badly. Hope he will recover in time!

  • Gareth on December 20, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    Please compare apples with apples. Vilas' average, once you take out second team, is only 33. Bavuma's is 40, plus he's fresh off a big ton vs. Aus A. Behardien's is 37, but he is in form. Sad for de Kock, but Bavuma is an incredibly talented long-form batsman!

  • Sam on December 20, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    For the 2nd test vs WI: 1. I'll play 25 years Russow who has a FC average of 44. But looks like he's injured. 2. If Russow is injured then why not call up a wicket keeper batsman Dale Vilas who has a FC average of 41. Exposing De Villiers to back injuries by playing him as a wicket keeper isn't a safe option for me with WC around the corner. 3. Is Rudolph with a FC average of 43 totally out of contention ? He's a great batsman. Plus there's Farhaan Behardien with a FC average of 39. 4. I'll be very much surprised if Bavuma with a FC average of 35 is picked ahead of all these deserving players. Bavuma is still young 24 years & I to be honest don't think he's international ready yet.

    For the ODIs & T20Is, The replacement for De Kock has to be the Knights opener Morne Van Wyk. He's in red hot form. A straight swap.

  • Shahzad on December 20, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    De Kock is the key member in wc squad... the second bt potion to open with Amla is levi.... but he is not in 30 member squad..

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