Question mark over de Kock after hamstring tweak

Quinton de Kock will be taken for scans on Wednesday morning to determine the severity of the hamstring strain he sustained while batting on the first evening of the Boxing Day Test. He was unable to keep wicket when South Africa took to the field 40 minutes before the scheduled close of play on day one, and is “highly unlikely” to take the gloves on the second day.

De Kock tweaked the muscle in the 73rd over, off the 26th ball he faced, just as he was starting to find his touch. He scored nine runs off the first 23 balls he faced and six off the next three, including running for two in an act that caused the injury. Vernon Philander was with de Kock and was pushing for a third run, but de Kock sent him back and immediately called for assistance. De Kock resumed batting and continued until he was dismissed five overs later, but was ginger at the crease and in walking off the field.

South Africa declared shortly after and AB de Villiers, on Test comeback, was forced to stand-in with the gloves for de Kock. De Villiers even had to use de Kock’s keeping pads and gloves because he did not have his own on hand, in addition to accepting the responsibility of stand-in captaincy because Faf du Plessis was ruled out with illness.

If, as suspected, de Kock only has a slight strain, he will likely require seven to 10 days of recovery, which could put him in doubt for the opening Test against India that starts on January 5. If the injury is worse, de Kock could be sidelined for longer, leaving South Africa with a major problem.

They did not travel with a reserve wicketkeeper to England because the then-opening batsman Heino Kuhn was also a gloveman, but used Titans’ gloveman Heinrich Klaasen as back-up in New Zealand. Rudi Second, from Knights, may also come into contention if South Africa need a longer-term replacement for de Kock.


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