Faf du Plessis during South African national cricket captains press conference at PPC Newlands on January 02, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: SHAUN ROY / GALLO IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES
Faf du Plessis during South African national cricket captains press conference at PPC Newlands on January 02, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: SHAUN ROY / GALLO IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES

Cricket SA’s acting director of cricket Graeme Smith says discussions concerning Faf du Plessis’s replacement as Test captain  have not started yet.

Du Plessis‚ who featured sporadically in SA’s chequered limited-overs summer‚ relinquished the Test leadership after a testing summer when SA lost a series against India away and against England at home.

In the 2018-19 summer‚ the Proteas also surrendered their proud home record against Asian teams when they lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka. SA’s next Test engagement is against the West Indies in July. Whether that tour takes place will depend on how the coronavirus pandemic is contained.

Smith said Cricket SA would be advertising the national under-19 team coaching position‚ with that of the convener of selectors. The positions are now occupied by Lawrence Mahatlane and Linda Zondi.

“We haven’t made any decisions around the Test captaincy. It hasn’t been a discussion point. We’ll be advertising the convener of selectors role. Once that advert is out‚ we’ll take things from there‚” Smith said.

“We’ll also be advertising the under-19 positions. We’re drawing up those positions, but that’s not stopping any of the current incumbents from applying,” he said.

From a leadership perspective‚ Smith said Quinton de Kock had done well despite the challenges he faced against England and Australia. De Kock’s first leadership stint was the drawn T20 series against India in 2019‚ but this year he took on the full limited-overs reins when he assumed the 50-over leadership mantle.

“My expectations in regards to Quinton are on the tactical side. He’s had some challenges and we’ve introduced a number of players with opportunities being given‚ so that’s never easy.

“As the captain‚ you have to bring them together‚ check their strengths and weaknesses while trying to get the best out of them‚” Smith said.

“He maintained his own personal performance‚ which was important‚ and connected well with the players. Having been a young and inexperienced captain‚ it’s about opening your mind and growing through the different challenges the job brings.

“I’ve been happy with how Quinton coped through the summer. There are areas where he’ll want to and need to improve,” Smith said.

SA have international downtime until May when there is a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka, while the women’s team have a date with the West Indies. However, everything is dependent on the coronavirus.

Smith said six weeks is the minimum time teams have to prepare for an international tour. The same time frame will also inform whether a tour can take place in the current global conditions.

“The first tours are Sri Lanka [men’s] and West Indies [women]‚ so the six-week period gives us a good timeline to be able to make decisions from a financial‚ medical staff and a player wellness perspective‚ along with the requisite training‚” Smith said.