Quinton de Kock set to miss part of India Test series on paternity leave

Due to the birth of his first child, Quinton de Kock will miss at least the third Test between South Africa and India. De Kock’s wife Sasha is due to give birth in early January, ruling him out of the second and third Tests, especially considering the bio-bubble situation.

South Africa’s selection committee Victor Mpitsang revealed that de Kock will “skip the last Test,” leaving the side without a wicketkeeper and a key lower-middle-order batsman. It’s improbable that de Kock will be able to return to the biosecure environment in time for the final Test if he has to leave the bubble before the last Test, say during the second Test. De Kock will be replaced by one of Kyle Verreynne or Ryan Rickelton.

In the absence of vice-captain Temba Bavuma, who was injured, Verreynne made his debut during South Africa’s tour of the West Indies in June. In three innings, he scored 39 runs. Since then, he has scored one half-century in three first-class appearances for Western Province. Rickelton has had a stronger recent run because he is uncapped. This season, he is batting 10th in first-class cricket, and he has two centuries in his last three games, as well as leading the Lions to the top of the points table.

The previous time de Kock missed a South Africa game was during the T20 World Cup, when he pulled out of the second group-stage encounter after refusing to take the knee after a CSA board mandate. Following that, De Kock took a knee in the final three games. Since then, the CSA has confirmed that the national team would take a knee for the duration of the summer. South Africa’s red-ball team will take a knee for the first time in this Test series after the board gave players the option of kneeling, raising a fist, or standing to attention during their tour to the West Indies.